Outsourcing firm snaps up personal lines broker from LV=

The Capita Group has acquired Hero Insurance Services from LV= for around £15m.

Capita, the outsourcing company, said the debt-free acquisition would add greater capacity and valuable new expertise to its insurance intermediary and administration business.

Buyers have been circling Hero since LV= it acquired the business as part of its £150m takeover of Highway in August last year.

Hero is a personal lines broker offering insurance for cars, motorbikes, homes and commercial vehicles through brands including AQuote, 1stQuote, Motorcycles United and Telebikes.

Its operating profit for the 12 months ended 31 December 2008 is £2.3m on turnover of £23.9m.

Paul Pindar, chief executive of the Capita Group, said: “The acquisition of Hero Insurance Services will add both new, specialist products and important cost synergies to Capita’s personal insurance intermediary and administration business. Hero operates in a number of areas of the market that differ from, but complement, those in which our existing business, BDML, operates. Its distribution channels include direct sales via both ‘phone and internet and a number of key aggregators.

"Its acquisition will provide new economies of scale and the opportunity to offer more ancillary products to existing customers. It will also allow us to provide a more comprehensive service offering a greater range of product lines. I look forward to welcoming all Hero staff who join the Capita Group.”

Jackie Basham, a director of operations at Hero, said: “Joining forces with Capita represents a great opportunity for our insurance industry clients, our customers and our staff. We are fully committed to maintaining the focus that we have on specialist expertise and service excellence. Being part of Capita will allow us to further enhance the value we offer in these areas.”

Hero employs around 300 staff, principally in Essex, Hampshire and Suffolk. It will form part of Capita's insurance distribution business alongside existing brands, BDML, Lancaster and Thornside.

The combined businesses, with Mark Townsend as managing director, will have more than 800,000 policies under management.