Ardonagh to buy Swinton Group from Covea for £165m
Ardonagh acquisition of Swinton : The Ardonagh Group, the Jersey-incorporated owner of Autonet and Towergate, has signed a deal of around £165 million to acquire Swinton Group, the UK personal lines insurance broking business of the French mutual insurance company Covea Group.
Swinton provides a variety of insurance products ranging from car to home, commercial to taxi insurance, bike to van, along with other services such as breakdown cover.
In December 2017, Swinton had a turnover of £168 million coming from over a million customers to go along with 1.6 million live policies.
Founded in 1957, Swinton has 1,550 employees and has invested £45m over two years in digital capabilities and transformation to cope up with changing customer preferences.
Ardonagh plans to cover the acquisition costs with committed financing from its existing bank group in addition to cash generated from monetization of some of Swinton assets.
Upon completion of Ardonagh acquisition of Swinton, the personal lines insurance broker will operate under the former’s insurance brokerage business.
Commenting on Ardonagh acquisition of Swinton, David Ross – CEO of The Ardonagh Group, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Swinton into the Ardonagh group of companies; a personal lines household name steeped in heritage and another best in class brand which will be the perfect addition to our portfolio.
“The opportunity to share expertise in the development of our digital platforms to accelerate the scale and scope of our offerings is clear to see. Swinton is a hugely complementary, highly accretive acquisition, enabling us to occupy a significant space in personal lines broking.”
With the divestiture of Swinton, Covéa will focus its UK activities on underwriting, thereby closely aligning the UK business model with that of its French and global operations.
Pierre Michel – Managing Director of Reinsurance and International Operations, Covéa Group, commenting on Ardonagh acquisition of Swinton, said: “Over the last few years, Swinton and its Executive Team have transformed and repositioned the business and now is the right time for it to move into new ownership.
“Swinton will become part of a growing and innovative UK insurance brokerage group, and I am confident that being part of The Ardonagh Group will provide Swinton with a great platform from which to deliver significant benefits to all its stakeholders, including its customers and employees.
“Covéa Group remains committed to the UK as an important insurance market through its UK underwriting arm, Covéa Insurance plc.”
Ardonagh acquisition of Swinton will be based on regulatory approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).