National Accident Helpline is chasing the stockmarket as well as compensation

IPO WATCH: The 'no win, no fees' claims company is planning a £100m IPO.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 22 Apr 2014

If you thought accident claims companies were nothing more than irritating TV ads (National Accident Helpline’s features a plasticine character hobbling to Chumbawamba’s 90s school disco anthem ‘Tubthumping’) think again. National Accident Helpline announced today it is planning to float – making money out of misfortune is clearly big business.
 
Claims firms have put with some pretty deserved flak in the last few years, after a surge in whiplash claims, which the Association of British Insurers claimed in December costs the industry £2bn in payouts every year and adds £90 to drivers' premiums. NAH seems fairly unscathed by the firestorm though: while its revenues were pretty flat at just under £40m last year, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose more than 40% from £7m to £10m.
 
The company is looking to raise around £50m by selling at least half the business on London’s Aim market, according to the Telegraph. That means it is being valued at around 10 times its earnings, a similar figure to Card Factory, the other company declaring an IPO this morning while the rest of us dozed in a chocolate-induced stupor.
 
Compared with recent over-exuberant listings – white goods e-tailer AO World floated at 72 times its projected 2015 EBITDA – the latest round of companies to dip their toe in the stock market’s increasingly murky waters look more sensible.

Nonetheless, given the beating that some new IPOs have taken so far this year – Just Eat, Boohoo.com, Pets at Home and Poundland are all trading below their listing price – other companies lined up to list, including retailers Fat Face and Game Group, will be keeping a close eye on how NAH and Card Factory fare when shares start changing hands.

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