Ageas UK (formerly Fortis) announced Thursday the acquisition of Castle Cover Limited for a sum of £52.8 million. The investment is in line with Ageas UK’s multi-distribution strategy and will increase its customer numbers to around 8 million. Within Ageas UK’s Retail operation, the acquisition is expected to create a combined retail customer base of 2 million and builds on the significant presence Aegis UK already has in the country.
In addition, the investment further consolidates Ageas UK’s position as the fourth largest Personal lines broker in the UK. With around 280,000 customer policies, the reported revenue of Castle Cover in 2010 was £22 million and would bring Ageas’ total Retail revenues to around £200 million.
Barry Smith, Chief Executive of Ageas UK said the acquisition of Castle Cover gives Ageas an even stronger over 50s market presence, adding an established brand to Ageas UK’s Retail operation and enhancing the firm’s proven knowledge in this growing insurance market. Smith further said the purchase supports Ageas UK’s multi-distribution strategy and will build on the firm’s existing expertise which is focused on meeting the needs of this customer group.
Andy Watson, Managing Director UK Retail, commented that Castle Cover has shown an impressive growth record in the short time that they have been in the market. According to Watson, the combined expertise with RIAS provides a great opportunity for future growth. Aegis operates in the growing UK market through over 50s specialist RIAS.
Andy Cole, Marketing Director Castle Cover separately said that the acquisition supports the success that Castle Cover has achieved in its five years of trading. Cole reiterated that becoming part of Ageas will allow Castle Cover to grow its customer base further and enhance its reputation as a leading provider of 50+ insurance.
Castle Cover will continue to operate under its brand name and will become a subsidiary company of Ageas UK which will now employ over 4,500 people in the UK. Janet Connor will be Managing Director of both RIAS and Castle Cover. Ageas UK’s existing retail operations consist of RIAS, Kwik Fit Insurance Services and Ageas Insurance Solutions (UKAIS).
Ageas has two main insurance divisions in the UK, insuring both non-life and life products, which are distributed through a range of channels including brokers, IFAs, intermediaries, affinity partners and the Internet, as well as various wholly or partially-owned companies (RIAS, Ageas Insurance Solutions, Kwik-Fit Insurance Services, Tesco Underwriting and Text2Insure.)
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