The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, is the first of a number of planned acquisitions for County Insurance NW as its parent company, County Insurance Group, looks to build up a regional branch network of brokerages and double in size over the next five years.
Whitchurch Insurance Services, which has a turnover of £1.1m and a mix of personal and commercial customers, will sit under the County Insurance Group umbrella, but will retain the Whitchurch name and brand. The company’s three staff will stay with the business.
Harrison Drury advised County Insurance NW on due diligence and legal aspects of the acquisition. Harrison Drury is also assisting the company as it targets further acquisitions.
David Filmer, head of mergers and acquisitions at Harrison Drury, said: “County Insurance NW Ltd has a deep understanding of the market and this first acquisition fits perfectly with the company’s strategy for growth. A number of factors in the insurance broking market mean more business owners are looking at exit strategies and County Insurance is well positioned to maximise any acquisition opportunities.”
Alastair Christopherson, managing director of County Insurance NW, said: “I’m delighted we have got our first acquisition over the line. As a well-run community broker with loyal customers and excellent staff, Whitchurch Insurance is exactly the sort of business we had in mind when we launched County Insurance NW.”
County Insurance NW announced in March that it was looking to buy up two new insurance brokerages per year over the next five years as part of plans to take County Insurance Group’s current premium income from around £20m up to £60m in the same period.
County Insurance Group, which has 75 staff at offices in Crewe, Southport and Chorley, is also looking to establish a separate underwriting group to write a portion of the business from its retail insurance operations as part of the growth strategy.
County Insurance Group provides a full suite of insurance services to private individuals and businesses, including individual and fleet vehicle insurance, public liability, indemnity, shop and commercial property insurance.