Cobra acquires UK & Ireland for £4.3m

Cobra has acquired UKI Holdings (UK & Ireland) and its subsidiary, UK & Ireland Insurance Services, a Manchester-based general insurance brokerage specialising in Commercial insurance, in particular for the construction industry, for £4.3m.

Cobra said the existing management team, led by James Wrynne, will continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Kevin McNeill will become UK construction director, and Mike Regan will be assuming the role of property director.

Martin Hoult maintains control of the infrastructure and Dermot McMorrow, one of the founders, continues to remain close to the business.

UK & Ireland and its subsidiaries controls £12m of Gross Written Premiums and in the year to 31 May 2007 generated revenues of £1.6m and profit before tax of £200,000.

The UKI Group’s unaudited net assets as at 31 May 2007 amounted to approximately £987,000.

Cobra said the acquisition will enable it to establish a hub in Manchester, from which it will develop its presence across the North West region through both organic and acquisitive growth.

The company said UK & Ireland will introduce additional income to the Network, increase GWP and offers further potential to redirect business to the Group’s wholesale insurance and underwriting companies.

Cobra intends to leverage UK & Ireland’s strong brand in the construction industry by maintaining the name UK & Ireland Insurance Services for construction business.

Steve Burrows, chief executive of Cobra, said: “We are delighted to have acquired UK & Ireland, which introduces new revenue streams and opportunities to the Group and provides Cobra Insurance Brokers with a hub in the Manchester region, an area where we are keen to expand. This is the second acquisition we have completed since COBRA floated on AIM in July and demonstrates our strategy to expand through acquisitive growth and increase our presence throughout the UK provincial market.”

James Wrynne, managing director of UK & Ireland, said: “The team at UK & Ireland, who remain unaltered, are extremely excited about the prospect of being involved with COBRA Holdings PLC. We are confident this represents an outstanding opportunity for UK & Ireland to better serve our clients through an expanding and forward thinking partnership. We are enthused by Cobra's vision and are looking forward to implementing the Group’s strategy in this region and beyond.”