Brit Insurance Holdings has sold loss-making subsidiary People's Choice (Europe) to Hastings Insurance Services in a deal worth £7.2m.

Brit said the sale of the telesales personal lines broker, involves the transfer of the entire company - including over 400 employees - on an ongoing basis.

In 2002, People's Choice generated turnover of £11.4m from more than 130,000 policies.

The last filed accounts at Companies House show that for the seven months leading up to 31 December 2001 People's Choice (Europe) had a turnover of £7.3m and recorded an operating loss of £3.9m. The balance sheet at 31 December 2001 showed a deficit of £14.7m.

Brit chief executive Neil Eckert said the sale would enable Brit to concentrate on its core business areas.

He said: "We said we would undertake a full review of our distribution businesses and in particular the strategic fit of People's Choice. The review determined that a sale represented the most appropriate course of action."

Hastings Direct chairman and managing director David Gundlach said: "The company has been purchased as a going concern. The addition of two new call centres in Manchester and Leicester gives Hastings the combination of broader regional coverage and a solid disaster recovery plan."