?Equity Insurance has completed its third acquisition in eight weeks with the purchase of broker RF Hobson.

Based in Lichfield, RF?Hobson specialises in commercial lines, part-icularly, fleet, agriculture and professional indemnity. It has a GWP in excess of £2m.

The acquisition brings Equity to 80 branches in the UK, and a step closer to its goal of 100 offices by the end of 2008.

A spokesman added that Equity also had a major deal in the pipeline, with a national broker expected to be acquired within a year.

He said: “It will be a very sizeable acquisition.”

Equity refused to disclose the value of the RF Hobson deal, but said the move strengthened its presence in Staffordshire, adding the commercial specialist to its existing branches in Burton-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Rugeley and Stone.

Mike Hutton, Equity’s acquisition director, said: “[This] acquisition consolidates our position as the leading commercial lines broker in Staffordshire.”

Equity was bought by Australian insurer giant IAG last December for £570m.