Towergate owner The Ardonagh Group revs up with £65m offer to buy motorbike insurer Carole Nash

Lucy White
MotoGP Test Day
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As if an insurance sector mega-merger wasn't enough for The Ardonagh Group in one year, the group is still on the acquisition trail as it announced this morning it is set to buy motorbike insurer Carole Nash.

Formed earlier this year from the private equity-backed merger of Towergate, Autonet, Chase Templeton, Ryan Direct and Price Forbes, The Ardonagh Group is set to buy Carole Nash for up to £65m.

It will take on £55m of new debt to fund the acquisition, and the extra £10m to £15m will come from existing debt and liquidity.

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“As a management team, our plans to keep building our brand and market share mean we have been looking for a home where we can build on the reputation we have fostered over many years,” said Carole Nash's chief executive David Newman.

“We have longstanding relationships with the Ardonagh management team and we are genuinely excited by the momentum that is so clear to see across the group.”

Carole Nash is the UK's largest motorbike insurance broker in the UK, and was founded by its namesake in 1985 – originally specialising in vintage vehicles.

The firm will sit alongside “white van man” insurer Autonet, broadening The Ardonagh Group's motor insurance business.

The group also announced today it would buy Mastercover, an insurance broker for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Mastercover, which specialises in driving instructor and removal company cover, will sit alongside Towergate.

With both of the new acquisitions, The Ardonagh Group estimates that its earnings before deductions for the last 12 months would have been approximately £147.4m.

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