Arachas continues on deals trail with Mayo purchase

MCM Insurance Brokers, which focuses on construction, hospitality and professional indemnity sectors, bought for undisclosed sum

Arachas, an Irish insurance broker that was bought last year by larger UK peer Ardonagh Group, has continued on its own deals trail with the purchase of Mayo-based commercial lines broker MCM Insurance Brokers (MCM) for an undisclosed sum.

MCM, founded in 1996 by managing director Eugene Nelson, is focused on the construction, hospitality and professional indemnity sectors.

"We were attracted to MCM Insurance Brokers due to its strong focus on owner-managed SME businesses which is consistent with Arachas's market positioning, and the acquisition reinforces our nationwide presence and services," said Conor Brennan, chief executive of Arachas.

US private-equity firms Madison Dearborn and HPS Investment Partners acquired Arachas in April for €250 million from London investment firm Sovereign Capital Partners, the Irish business's former chief executive Donal Cronin, and other minority small shareholders.


Madison Dearborne and HPS moved in June to roll Arachas into a UK insurance brokerage group that they control called Ardonagh. Ardonagh is home to a number of well-known UK brokerages, including Bishopsgate, Towergate and Carole Nash, and led by Westmeath native David Ross.

Arachas, whose name is Irish for insurance, was established 15 years ago through the merger of Cork-based broker Tyrrell Coakley with two Dublin-based peers, Hodgins Percival and Slattery Jermyn.

Sovereign backed a management buyout of Arachas in 2017, with the business subsequently moving to acquire a number of brokerages. Insurance executive Conor Brennan left Zurich Insurance in early 2018 to take over as chief executive of Arachas.

Meanwhile, US insurance brokerage group Brown & Brown, which was said to be an under-bidder for Arachas, agreed in December to buy the general insurance business of Cork-based O’Leary Insurances for a reported €100 million. The business was founded in 1961 by Archie O’Leary, a former international rugby player, sailor and owner of race horses.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times