Trean Insurance Group TIG has filed to raise $ million from the sale of its common stock in an IPO, according to an amended registration statement.

The company provides primarily workers’ compensation insurance to small and midsize businesses in North America.

TIG has grown quickly but the IPO appears to be priced for perfection in a highly uncertain environment given the Covid pandemic.

Wayzata, Minnesota-based Trean was founded to offer specialty casualty insurance coverage to small and mid-sized businesses, primarily workers compensation insurance.

Workers comp provided .% of the firm’s gross written premiums for the year ended December , .

Management is headed by founder, president and CEO Andrew O Brien, who was previously EVP at the E.W. Blanch Company and has held senior positions at other insurance industry firms prior to that.

Trean has received at least $. million from investors including Altaris Funds and Blake Enterprises, who are also selling some of their shares in the IPO.

The firm acquires new customers by two means, working through unrelated third parties Program Partners and through its owned managing general agencies MGSs

In specialty insurance markets, companies such as Trean tend to rely on specialist distributors and wholesale brokers.

This serves to reduce infrastructure and personnel costs by limiting the number of companies the firm interacts with.

G&A expenses as a percentage of total revenue have been rising as revenues have increased, as the figures below indicate:

The G&A efficiency rate, defined as how many dollars of additional new revenue are generated by each dollar of G&A spend, was .x in the most recent reporting period, as shown in the table below:

According to a market research report gleaned from Fitch Ratings, the property & casualty insurance market in the U.S. was expected to see .% written premium growth on a direct basis and .% net.

The report, which was prepared before the onset of the Covid pandemic, expected pricing growth to modestly outpace loss costs in , contributing to the slight improvement in underwriting results.

The report suggested that rate hikes would continue for the next year or two for most lines.

Also, a report by Willis Towers Watson said it expected price increases to continue, but a more orderly market to emerge by mid-, especially for property.

Needless to say, the Covid pandemic has likely thrown a wrench into those expectations for continued price hikes, especially in the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors where the majority of layoffs have occurred.

Management says it hasn t seen a significant impact in our reported claims or incurred losses in the first quarter of relating to the Covid- pandemic. However, most observers believe the second quarter of and beyond is when the real economic pain will begin hitting the U.S. economy.

Below are relevant financial results derived from the firm’s registration statement:

TIG intends to sell . million shares of common stock at a midpoint price of $. per share for gross proceeds of approximately $. million, not including the sale of customary underwriter options.

The firm will sell . million of the shares and selling shareholders, which include Altaris Funds and Blake Enterprises entities, will sell . million shares in the offering.

Assuming a successful IPO at the midpoint of the proposed price range, the company’s enterprise value at IPO would approximate $ million.

Excluding effects of underwriter options and private placement shares or restricted stock, if any, the float to outstanding shares ratio will be approximately .%.

Per the firm’s most recent regulatory filing, the firm plans to use the net proceeds as follows:

We intend to use the net proceeds from our sale of shares of common stock in this offering to i redeem all $. million aggregate liquidation preference of the Series B Nonconvertible Preferred Stock of Benchmark Holding Company the “Series B Preferred Stock”, ii pay $. million to redeem all of our outstanding Fixed to Floating Rate Junior Subordinated Debt Securities of Trean Corporation the “Subordinated Notes”, iii use $. million to repay in full all outstanding term loan borrowings under the Oak Street Credit Agreement as defined below, iv pay an aggregate one-time payment of approximately $. million to Altaris Capital Partners, LLC in connection with the termination of our consulting and advisory agreements with Altaris Capital Partners, LLC and v pay an aggregate $. million to certain Pre-IPO Unitholders and other employees in connection with the reorganization transactions.

Listed underwriters of the IPO are J.P. Morgan, Evercore ISI, William Blair and JMP Securities.

Trean and selling shareholders are selling shares to the public to raise expansion capital or reduce their position in the firm.

The company’s financials indicate strong revenue growth, increasing earnings per share, and other impressive basic financial metrics.

G&A expenses as a percentage of total revenue have risen as revenues have grown.

The company’s overall loss and expense ratios have trended upward, while its adjusted return on equity has fluctuated significantly, producing its lowest result in the most recent quarter.

The market opportunity for workers’ compensation and other casualty insurance was expected to witness moderate growth, although the question is whether this expected growth will materialize due to the ongoing effects of the Covid pandemic.

As to valuation, compared to a basket of publicly held insurance companies Property & Casualty with an average EV Revenue of .x, the TIG IPO appears very highly priced, at a proposed EV Revenue multiple of .x, or more than four times the basket.

While the basket of comparables may be growing more slowly than TIG has historically grown, a question is whether the firm’s growth trajectory will continue to justify such a high multiple.

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Disclosure: Iwe have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it other than from Seeking Alpha. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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