Gallagher's negotiators working round the clock to seal a deal for Heath Lambert

Gallagher has extended its period of exclusivity with Heath Lambert to April 18, Insurance Times understands.

Gallagher extended the period of exclusivity to give more time to work through Heath's debts.

The period of exclusivity had run until the end of last month, but Gallagher wants more time to work through Heath's complex web of debts.

Heath owes £54.5m in preference shares, half of which is owned by the Government’s Pension Protection Fund and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Heath was due to pay the £54.5 at the end of last year, but this has been put off as Heath does not have any distributable reserves. Company accounts show distributable reserves were £45m in the red last year.

It comes as market speculation focused on Gallagher making a swoop for Lonmar staff, including casualty head Tom Payne.