25/01/2012

Darwin Private Equity Acquires The A&A Group

 

Darwin Private Equity has today entered into an agreement to acquire The A & A Group Limited (“Allen & Allen”) and Hyperformance Limited (together the “A&A Group”) in a management buyout. The transaction is subject to change of control approval from the Financial Services Authority. The A&A Group is a leading UK independent insurance intermediary.

Allen & Allen was founded in 1968 as an insurance broker specialising in non-standard motor risks. The A&A Group has been focused on this same niche ever since, during which time it has built up an enviable market position and reputation within the industry, underpinned by distribution, technology and product expertise as well as excellent relationships with leading insurers.

The A&A Group now has over 500 staff and a strong track record of growth, achieving Gross Written Premium of c. £140 million in 2011. The MBO is being led by Tony Allen, A&A Group’s CEO, and the rest of the senior management team, who are all reinvesting significantly into the transaction. On completion, Ian Chippendale will be joining the Group as Chairman.  Ian has extensive expertise in the motor insurance market having been CEO of Direct Line and Privilege Insurance, as well as Chairman of RBS Insurance.  

Commenting on the sale, Tony Allen said: “It was important to find the right partner to work with us during the next stage of the Group’s growth.  We are a close knit team who have worked together for a long time. Over the past two years, we have got to know the Darwin team extremely well. They have good experience and knowledge of our industry and their plans to invest and build the business were very much in line with our own.  We are excited about the future and relish the opportunity to work with Darwin to expand our business, both in the UK and abroad.”

Jonathan Kaye, Partner of Darwin Private Equity, commented:  “The A&A Group has a highly experienced management team and is operating in an attractive segment of the insurance market.  We see great potential for the business and are looking forward to working with Tony and his team to help them extend their market position in non-standard motor insurance.”

Advisers to the A&A Group were Deloitte Corporate Finance and Slaughter & May. Newco was advised by L.E.K. Consulting, Macfarlanes, Ernst & Young (due diligence) and Deloitte (tax). Acquisition finance for the transaction was provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

 
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