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Insurance Business Acquisitions

Insurance and Wealth Management at Pinsent Masons

Whether strategic acquisitions of insurance business or disposals of non-core insurance books (life and general insurance), we specialise in advising insurers (both private companies and quoted entities), brokers, entrepreneurs and intermediaries in the market on the best structures for achieving their commercial goals. We pride ourselves on giving first-rate advice and on project delivery on time and on budget. Our insurance specialists work seamlessly with our M&A, Solvency II, regulatory, tax and data protection experts.

What we do 

We specialise in all types of structures used in the market for acquiring/ disposing of insurance businesses, including:

  • Renewal rights transfers
  • Share and business sales
  • Part VII transfers
  • Acquisition of insurance business through reinsurance.

We have a proven track record of advising on each of the above, and on projects which include a combination of these structures and other corporate aspects such as capital adequacy issues. Our experience includes advising on the key issues, including product history, distribution channel, regulatory risk, mis-selling exposures, systems reliance and data protection risk.  We regularly advise on key branding, commercial and related transitional service agreements. Our sector-focused approach also allows us to deploy lawyers who understand the insurance market and the particular issues involved when advising on areas such as tax and employment law.

Our lawyers’ experience

We have advised on the full range of business acquisition models utilised in the insurance market. A snapshot of our experience is set out below.

  • Acting for Canada Life on the acquisition of the £875m non-profit annuity business from Equitable Life and the subsequent Part VII insurance business transfer
  • Acting for Sterling Insurance Group's shareholder, Nicholas Cooper on the sale of the Sterling Insurance Group business to Covéa, the French mutual insurance group
  • Acting for Reliance Mutual Group on the sale of its non-core general insurance subsidiary to the Bermuda based investment manager of Armour Group
  • Advising a major home emergency provider on taking over the insurance business of a large water company through a renewal rights transfer. In addition to a purchase of renewal rights, this transaction involved our client taking over the administration of existing policies and transitional support arrangements with the existing provider
  • Advising on a renewal rights acquisition for a leading insurer including complex Data Protection issues
  • Advising RSA on the acquisition of underwriting managing agent Oak Underwriting which focuses on the high net worth household and motor sectors
  • Advising LV= on a Part VII transfer of long-term insurance business, involving over £1.7 billion of assets and 635,000 long-term insurance policies, including policies held by policyholders resident in the EEA, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and a change of with-profits benefits to non-profit
  • Advising Hallmark Insurance Company Limited on the Part VII transfer of its insurance business to NIG, including business written in respect of policyholders outside the UK
  • Advising a major insurer on its acquisition of renewal rights in relation to a bank’s household insurance backbook
  • Advising Aviva on its acquisition from HSBC of Hamilton Insurance Company Limited and Hamilton Life Assurance Company Limited (with gross assets respectively of £180 million and £176 million)
  • Advising AXA PPP on the acquisition of on-line health insurance intermediary Health-on-Line
  • Acting for RBS Insurance (now Direct Line Group) on the Part VII transfer of Indemnity to Churchill, including the business written in Ireland
  • Acting for a leading general insurer on the sale of a Financial Services business, and negotiating a transitional services agreement (TSA) with the buyer including a brand licence, secondment of staff, premises licences and database and systems separation.

Key Contacts