Saga Pearl II  (photo: Jorge Ferreira)Focused on the British market of people aged 50 and over, Saga has announced an IPO to raise 550 million pounds, primarily to pay down debt.

Plans call for selling about 25 percent of the company, which would value the business at around 2.2 billion pounds. Saga is owned by three private equity companies.

Initially established as a vacation provider in 1950, Saga has since broadened its services to include not only holidays and cruises, but also home and car insurance, healthcare and financial services, promoted directly to customers via its Saga Magazine.

The company said in its prospectus that it has more than 2.1 million customers and databases of some 10.4 million people and 8.4 million contactable households in the UK.

For 2013, Saga posted revenues of 1.2 billion pounds and EBITDA of 222 million pounds.

Saga launched its own cruise ship brand in the 1990s and today operates the 446-passenger Saga Pearl and the 750-passenger Saga Sapphire.