Is the insurance coverage IPO rush off earlier than it is begun?


Is the insurance coverage IPO rush off earlier than it is begun? | Insurance Business America

Why one agency pulled the plug

Is the insurance IPO rush off before it's begun?

Insurance News

Jen Frost

Insurers which have plotted going public will likely be weighing up their choices after a stalled begin to a hotly hyped 2024 preliminary public providing (IPO) season.

On Wednesday, specialty insurer Fortegra pulled again from itemizing plans. Underscoring firm nerves and market-wide investor warning, Fortegra’s pivot could also be seen as a nasty signal by different insurance coverage companies which have eyed public debuts.

At least one different insurer seems to have been hedging its bets in a purchaser’s market, after two out of three specialty insurers that listed final yr didn’t hit the mark.

One IPO researcher pointed to current hypothesis round a possible Apollo-backed Aspen reverse merger with SiriusPoint.

Aspen, which declined to remark, has filed IPO paperwork however a cope with NYSE-listed SiriusPoint would supply it a special path to market.

“That could be a sign that Apollo recognizes that the public market is not as receptive as it would like, and it might be good to have an alternative in mind,” Nick Einhorn, Renaissance Capital VP, analysis, advised Insurance Business. “Fortegra’s postponements and the poor performance of those two deals late last year is a sign that the market is not especially strong for insurance IPOs, but I don’t think it means that investors wouldn’t be interested in a good company coming at an attractive valuation.”

Investor hype has, although, but to achieve the “unbridled enthusiasm” seen in 2020 and 2021, Einhorn mentioned.

How IPO proceeds have trended

With 18 million in shares on supply at $15 to $18 every, Fortegra’s house owners had sought a $1.5 billion market capitalization (market cap) for the specialty insurer. Tiptree, which owns greater than half of Fortegra, had a market cap of simply over $700 million on Wednesday.

Tiptree’s share value took a greater than 12% hit on information the IPO was off, suggesting its backers had held excessive hopes for the itemizing. The Fortegra majority proprietor’s market cap sat at $605 million on Thursday afternoon.

“If you look at where the IPO was being pitched, Tiptree’s ownership, and Tiptree’s own market cap, it’s pretty clear that the proposed equity valuation was higher than what it was being valued at within Tiptree,” Einhorn mentioned.

Fortegra’s mannequin of doing enterprise largely by means of managing basic brokers (MGAs) might have been a driver of public investor skepticism.

“That kind of distribution model doesn’t seem to be especially well liked by investors, and the company was trying to convince investors that they manage this model well, that they’ve had success with it and that they were good at identifying the right partners to bring on to their distribution platform,” Einhorn mentioned.

The change in course marks the second time that Fortegra has rethought public plans. In 2021, the insurer set phrases after which pulled the plug.

It is unclear whether or not Fortegra can have one other crack at itemizing later this yr. The specialty insurer declined to remark additional when approached by Insurance Business.

Specialty insurer IPOs in 2023 delivered a blended bag

The three specialty insurers that underwent IPOs in 2023 had been Fidelis Insurance (Fidelis), Hamilton Insurance Group (Hamilton), and Skyward Specialty.

Together, they’ve averaged a 30% return from supply, based on Renaissance Capital, propelled by Skyward Specialty’s efficiency. Both Hamilton and Fidelis have been buying and selling at or beneath supply value.

Fidelis’ construction as a steadiness sheet firm transacting with its primary underwriting firm might have left traders feeling chilly, Einhorn mentioned. Meanwhile, Hamilton’s “riskier” funding technique might not have hit the mark with public shareholders.

Why Skyward Specialty made sense for traders

Skyward Specialty might supply a ray of hope for would-be itemizing insurers.

The insurer was the primary enterprise to launch a US IPO final yr. Since then, it has traded 100% above its IPO value of $15.  

Further Skyward Specialty bragging rights embody having undergone probably the most profitable US monetary providers IPO of the yr and the third most profitable IPO of any firm.

Top 5 greatest performing US IPOs in 2023



Deal worth ($m)

Pro forma market cap ($m)

After-market efficiency – Offer / 1 day

After-market efficiency – typically / ‘23 Y.E

RayzeBio Inc






Structure Therapeutics Inc






Skyward Specialty Insurance Group Inc






Cava Group Inc

Dining & lodging





Nextracker Inc






Source: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

Skyward Specialty CEO Andrew Robinson advised Insurance Business he stays bullish on insurance coverage public listings into 2024, with some “great names” amongst IPO candidates.

Robinson outlined Skyward Specialty’s “formula for success” as delivering on outcomes guarantees and telling a compelling story on expertise, expertise, and diversification.

“We want to see more people replicate what we did – it certainly helps when you have good performing companies in the public market, we want to be compared against good performing companies,” Robinson mentioned. “It’s certainly something I hope for, but it’s hard to know, because with every company you have your market backdrop and then every company has its own story.”

Got a view on what Fortegra’s IPO cancellation means for insurance coverage? Leave a remark beneath.

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