Broker is confident about an upturn despite share price slide and pre-tax loss in 2010

CBG Group has put up the ‘for sale’ sign, Insurance Times understands.

Any sale could see the Manchester-based broker delisting from the stock market: coming off the AIM and being taken back into private hands, or the less likely scenario of a reverse takeover, where CBG is used by a private firm to launch itself onto the stock exchange.

As well as suffering a share price slide from 183p at the end of 2007 to around 20p recently, last year CBG made a pre-tax loss from continuing operations of £136,000, compared with a profit of £36,000 in the previous year.

CBG's share slide

In April, former CBG director and insurance chief Stephen Darcy left for rival Manchester broker Caunce O’Hara. Darcy is listed as one of CBG’s main shareholders with 4.33%, along with Octopus Asset Management (17.6%), Texas Holdings (7.25%), Hiscox Insurance Portfolio Fund (6.3%) and Allianz (4.25%).

Despite the challenges, CBG remains confident it can improve performance. Managing director Mike Askew told Insurance Times in March: “It was a challenging year, but we still find ourselves in a position to maximise the upturn when it arrives.”

CBG declined to comment.

Pass notes: CGB Group

Who is CBG?
CBG is a Manchester-based general insurance broker, risk manager and financial services provider. The firm has made 18 acquisitions since 2001. Its most recent purchases include Rockbridge Healthcare and Howgud Ltd. Mike Askew has not ruled out further acquisitions, but said last year that the broker had none in the pipeline.

How did it deal with Darcy's departure?
CBG rejigged its management structure after Stephen Darcy left for Caunce O'Hara, creating an executive management team to tie together its financial services, insurance broking,
wealth management and employee benefits arms.