Italy Car Insurance Tech Firm, Octo Telematics, Weighs Sale or IPO: Sources

By Alex Sherman, and | July 11, 2016

Octo Telematics SpA, the Italian car insurance-technology company, is pursuing an outright sale alongside preparations for an initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Octo, owned by Russia’s Renova Group, is working with advisers to seek potential bidders for the company, which could fetch as much as $2 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Octo is also still preparing for an IPO at the same valuation, one of the people said, and could move ahead with that as soon as September. Exploring a sale while planning to go public, known as a dual-track process, is a way for owners to gauge the best way to exit an investment. Spokesmen for Octo and Renova declined to comment.

The company is reaching out to potential bidders including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and International Business Machines Corp. as well as auto-part makers Continental AG and Robert Bosch GmbH, one of the people said. Representatives for the companies declined to comment.

Companies that supply technology to the automotive industry are in demand. In June, Verizon bought Telogis Inc. to expand its connected vehicle technology capabilities. Verizon paid about $925 million for the Aliso Viejo, California-based company, a person familiar with the matter said. A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

Octo, based in Rome, makes technology that can be installed in cars to track driving habits, which insurance companies can use to assess claims and pass on discounts to safe drivers. It was founded in 2002 and now has partnerships with more than 60 insurers, according to the company’s website.

–With assistance from Kiel Porter, Amy Thomson, Jing Cao, Jack Clark, Naomi Kresge and Manuel Baigorri.

Topics Insurtech

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