Compare The Market Car Insurance - The acquisition of BGL's insurance arm will double the size of Markersstudy to almost 6 million customers, creating a British general insurance powerhouse, Sky learns.
One of the UK's biggest buying insurers has struck a £400 million deal to build the group that distributes policies for Marks & Spencer and the RAC.
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Sky has learned that Markerstudy has agreed to buy BGL Insurance, which is owned by the group behind price comparison platform Comparethemarket in its biggest takeover to date.
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It will represent another milestone for Markerstudy, which two years ago became the UK's sixth largest motor insurer with the acquisition of the Co-op Insurance underwriting business.
BGL's insurance buyout will effectively double Markersstudy's size to nearly 6 million customers, and comes at a time when City regulators have forced the industry to offer renewals of existing policies on equivalent terms to new customers.
In response to a request from Sky, Kevin Spencer, Group Chief Executive of Markerstudy, said: “As a leading distributor in the market, the ownership of BGLi offers us a unique opportunity to accelerate and increase our growth potential.
"We have enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership with the BGL Group, and this has been strengthened in recent years with BGLi acting as an outsourcing partner for a number of Markerstudy brands."
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Peter Thompson, chief executive of BGL Insurance, described the deal as "a natural evolution for BGLi and brings together our leading digital distribution capabilities with the innovative underwriting capabilities of Markerstudy".
The price to be paid by Markerstudy, which is expected to be partly funded by a capital injection from its private equity backer Pollen Street Capital, is lower than market expectations when BGL Group appointed bankers from Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the autumn.
It is understood the deal also potentially includes further payments which could bring the eventual price to more than £500m.
BGL's insurance arm distributes policies to partners including M&S and the RAC, and also acts as a personal lines platform for other major brands, including Co-op Group and Lloyds Banking Group home insurance products.
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Most of BGL's profits are made by Comparethemarket, which has become one of the UK's largest comparison sites.
BGL Group is part-owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of Canada's largest pension funds.
The company has already internally separated its price comparison and insurance operations, making a sale easier to achieve. Buy the road and Compare the market - Car insurance, could not be easy. Follow the instructions below, and create an account today to start supporting a cause or charity of your choice.
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