Línea Directa , which opened on the stock market this Thursday with a 23% rise to 1,622 euros , considers that its landing in the ‘parquet’ “will generate a lot of value” for its shareholders, with whom it has committed to maintaining high pay , and has appealed to the “appeal” of a dividend policy that is “better than the rest of the insurance industry.”
During the press conference held this Thursday at the Madrid Stock Exchange Palace, the CFO of Línea Directa, Carlos Rodríguez, stated that the insurer’s stock market debut is ” an opportunity for all” , especially for the shareholders of a “very mature company, with sufficient profitability to be listed and very stable”.
“It is the end of a path that began a year and a half ago. Going public is an illusion,” added Rodríguez, who believes that the decision “has been a logical and natural step.”
The Bankinter insurer , whose main shareholders are Jaime Botín, with 23.18% and the family of Asturian origin Masaveu , who owns 5.31%, has launched this morning on the stock market, valued at 1,434 million euros, and it has set a first price of 1,670 euros, which is 26.7% more than the 1,318 euros set for its debut. During the session it has risen to more than 30%.
Despite the good figures, the Finance Director of Línea Directa has asked for confidence in the company “in the future”, and has said that “today is to celebrate and not be so aware of the evolution of the value itself.”
With this operation, Bankinter shareholders have become owners of 82.6% of the insurer, while the bank has kept 17.4% of the capital. “Now we are going to fly alone and continue to strengthen our values. We have ample growth potential, we continue to grow in health and motor, and we are going to grow much more at home,” said Rodríguez, who foresees “very good prospects” for business.
The company, which currently operates in the automobile, non-life and, more recently, health sectors, does not close the doors to new projects. This has been recognized by the CEO of Línea Directa, Miguel Ángel Merino, although he has clarified that, to this day, “the idea is to continue going out in more lines as the previous one is consolidated”.
However, any new activity must meet two requirements: be mass insurance and direct distribution is possible. For Línea Directa “today is a very important day, the beginning of a new era. A new beginning to continue doing things the way we did.”
For this reason, the insurer has committed to continue growing in the market, to continue with its high levels of solvency – above the average for the sector – and to increase its profitability year after year, without losing sight of risk management.
Born in 1995, Línea Directa has 3.2 million customers and its turnover is around 900 million euros, being the fifth largest automobile insurer in Spain and one of the top 13 in the non-life branch; In addition, in 2017 it launched the Vivaz health insurance brand.
The insurer was one of Bankinter’s main sources of income in 2020, a year in which its net profit was close to 135 million euros, 26% more; In the first three months of 2021 it was 29.6 million, 1.9% higher than that registered in the same period of the previous year.