October 12, 2015 / 8:07 AM / 3 years ago

Hastings shares trade below IPO price

(Reuters) - UK insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc’s (HSTG.L) shares fell below the initial public offering (IPO) price of 170 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Monday.

The stock, which had debuted in line with its IPO price, was down 1.76 percent at 167.69 pence by 0726 GMT.

With about 3.3 million shares traded in the first 20 minutes, Hastings was the third most actively traded stock on the exchange.

Hastings said on Friday that its IPO had been priced at 170 pence a share, valuing the firm at about 1.12 billion pounds ($1.72 billion).

The company, which mainly operates in the UK motor market, offers private car insurance, home insurance, motorbike and van insurance and premium financing and ancillary products.

Hastings had said earlier that it expected to raise gross proceeds of 210 million pounds, which would be used to reduce debt and strengthen its capital base.

The net proceeds of the sale would allow the group, one of Britain’s fastest growing motor insurers, to strengthen its capital base for future growth and in advance of the new Solvency II capital requirements.

The company said as on June 30, it had a 5.5 percent share of the UK private car insurance market and 1.88 million live customer policies.

Hastings said in September that a company comprising Goldman Sachs’(GS.N) merchant banking division, certain founders and members of management would remain its largest shareholder.

Goldman’s merchant banking division bought a 50 percent stake in Hastings in 2013.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi

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