But broker not willing to let it go

Towergate has received offers for Hayward Aviation, the UK’s largest broker for light aircraft and helicopters, Insurance Times understands.

Despite the offers, it is believed Towergate is not ready to sell the business, writes Saxon East.

Market sources suggest QBE is a potential bidder for the business.

Towergate bought Hayward in August 2007 for an undisclosed fee. The firm had been a Lloyd’s broker since 1992.

Hayward controls premiums of more than £75m for private and commercial aviation risks, arranging cover for about 80% of helicopters and 60% of light aircraft in the UK.

It also arranges insurance for business jets, airlines, airports and engine maintenance companies.

A Towergate spokesman said: “A company like Towergate inevitably attracts constant market attention and rumour, so it’s always been our policy not to comment on any M&A-related speculation.”

Towergate bought Hayward to complement Towergate Hall & Clarke, its aviation underwriting arm.

At the time of the acquisition, Peter Cullum, Towergate’s chief executive, said: “The combination of these two businesses will form an unrivalled capability in the European general aviation market.”

As reported last week, Towergate has axed 12 jobs as part of a shake-up in the Midlands. The jobs were shed as part of the company’s decision to move its regional offices from Shrewsbury to Stoke.