Folgate continuing deals with Heath Lambert and looking at Aon book

The Folgate Partnership is understood to be in negotiations to buy Heath Lambert's Sheffield and Newcastle offices.

In a separate move, Folgate is also looking to acquire parts of Aon's SME book.

Spokesmen for Folgate and Heath Lambert failed to deny that a deal for the Sheffield and Newcastle offices was in place and declined to comment.

Heath Lambert's Sheffield and Newcastle offices each house around 15 staff.

Meanwhile, Folgate is eyeing up slices of Aon's SME book. A source close to the Folgate leadership said that the company would use the appointment of former Aon boss Tim Johnson, who recently joined Towergate, to open a dialogue.

Folgate recently made its 26th acquisition when it bought Kent-based Vulcan Insurance Brokers, which controlled around £6m of mainly commercial premiums.

The acquisition represented the ninth acquisition in Folgate's Southern region.

Last month, Folgate finalised its acquisition of a small commercial business, including ten staff, from Heath Lambert.

The business and staff transferred to Folgate Sharp Insurance Brokers, based in Romford, Essex.

In July, Folgate completed the acquisition of Milton Keynes-based broker Peter Hill Insurance Group.

Under the terms of the deal, Folgate netted Peter Hill's £14m of annual commercial premiums.

As a result of the acquisition, Folgate controls over £53m of premium in Milton Keynes, making it the largest broker in the region

Earlier this year, talks between Heath Lambert and Marsh about a possible merger were terminated. It was reported that, despite having agreed an exclusivity deal, a decision was made not to proceed with further discussions.

Heath Lambert recently confirmed that an IPO remained a possible future option for the broker.