Over 50s holidays, healthcare and financial services group Saga today confirmed plans to go ahead with an initial public offering.

Proceeds from the listing of £550 million will be used to reduce net debt to approximately £700 million.

The group, which has more than 2.1 million customers, generated underlying revenue of £1.2 billion and underlying EBITDA of £222.4 million in the year to January 31.

The company said all three business segments have performed strongly with revenue ahead of expectations in the two months to March 31 and it remains confident on the outlook for the full financial year.

Executive chairman Andrew Goodwell said: “What began 60 years ago in a small hotel in Folkestone is today one of Britain’s most trusted and respected companies. This is in huge part due to the hard work and dedication of our employees.
 
“Our customers are at the heart of our brand and I am delighted that they will have an opportunity to become shareholders in the company and to be part of the next stage of our journey.”
 
He revealed that an “industry-leading group of heavy hitters” had been appointed to the new Saga board including former chief executive of Royal P&O Nedlloyd Philip Green
 
Group chief executive Lance Batchelor said: “I joined Saga because I can see a very strong future for this classic British success story.

“It is a business like few others: world class management; an unmatched brand; excellence in customer service; and a unique bond with customers.

“This combination of strengths gives Saga significant potential for consistent growth, which the team at Saga is confident this IPO will enhance. We hope many of our customers will become shareholders.
 
“We are committed to improving the lives of those over 50, and to delivering sustainable returns.”