UK-based insurance broker PIB Group has agreed to buy two insurance businesses from Dublin-based Melior Equity Partners, marking its ninth deal in the Irish market in less than two years as consolidation continues at pace in the industry.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in a joint statement on Tuesday from both sides of the transaction.
The businesses being sold comprise BHP Insurance, which specialises in coverage for not-for-profit organisations, and Keegan, Meredith & Williams Insurances. Both were bought last year by Melior, which is led by Jonathan Cosgrave and Peter Garvey, and put into a holding company called Damus Acquisitions Holdings.
The two businesses employ 30 people. Following the completion of the deal, PIB will have 350 staff in Ireland.
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PIB entered the Irish retail market in April last year with the purchase of Wexford-based broker Creane & Creane Insurance and quickly followed up with the purchase of Waterford-based Oliver Murphy Insurance. Its biggest Irish deal to date was the acquisition of Wexford-based Campion Insurance late last year for an estimated figure of more than €70 million.
Jim Campion, chief executive of Campion Insurance, said the latest deal highlights the “growing strength” of PIB Group in Ireland as it “continues the strategy of developing our specialist insurance offerings for the benefit of our customers”.
PIB and its Campion Insurance unit will continue to “invest significantly” in deals next year in the Irish insurance market, the UK brokerage firm said.
The wider Irish market has seen a flurry of broker deals in the past six years as it followed waves of consolidation in the UK and North America. The ultimate backers of most of the purchasing vehicles are private equity firms, attracted to a sector that is fee-based and delivers steady revenues through the economic cycle. This allows buyers to service the debt needed to finance further deals.
PIB is backed by London-headquartered private equity firm Apax Fund and larger US peer Carlyle.
The sale of BHP and Keegan, Meredith & Williams is the first exit by the so-called Melior Equity Partners II, a €160 million private equity fund closed earlier this year supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the European Investment Fund, Bank of Ireland and AIB.