Around 500,000 Saga customers have reportedly shown interest in buying shares in the over-50s travel and insurance group.

Saga has been sounding out its customers to gauge interest in a listing of the company, including placing adverts in national newspapers.

An announcement about the float is expected by the end of the week as the private equity owners of parent company Acromas – Pernirai, CVC and Charterhouse – gear up for going public, The Times reported.

Saga has said it is considering an initial public offering but has yet to make a formal announcement.

Retail interest is thought to be crucial to how much of the business – equity in which is expected to be valued at about £1.75 billion – it decides to sell.

Insiders said that “several hundred thousand” people had indicated that they would like to invest, with the average sum they would be willing to set aside topping £5,000, the newspaper reported.

A listing is expected to raise at least £450 million , which would be used to reduce £1.25 billion in debt.

A float is likely to bring a potential bonanza for Saga’s 6,000 staff who own 20% of the business.

Senior directors own about 9% of the company, potentially worth about £175 million.