REAL ESTATE - Dutch bancassurance firm SNS Reaal is to raise €1.3bn in an initial public offering aimed at institutional and retail investors.

Former sole shareholder Stichting Beheer SNS Reaal, which supported the Euronext flotation, will retain majority ownership with 70% of shares – although the figure will drop to 65.5% if the underwriters exercise a 15% over-allotment option.

Stichting Beheer SNS Reaal did not rule out the possibility that it would further reduce its shareholding, although it has no firm plans to do so.

Investor relations manager Victor Zijlema said he expected 80% of the remaining free-floating shares to go to institutional investors, including – but not exclusively – pension funds. “We’re aiming more broadly than that,” he said.

The IPO will finance SNS Reaal’s domestic acquisition strategy. At a press conference to announce the IPO, CEO Sjoerd van Keulen said the firm had identified specific acquisition targets in the domestic insurance market. He effectively ruled out deliberate geographical expansion, although he said SNS Reaal would assess incidentally acquired foreign operations for compatibility.

Domestic mortgages, insurance, and savings and investment services for retail and small business customers currently make up the bulk of its business. Its independently operated asset management firm focuses on pension funds and “a large number of socially-oriented institutions”.