Two Charterhouse-backed firms compete for Groupama’s UK brokers

Charterhouse-backed brokers Giles and Acromas are competing to buy the UK broking assets of French insurer Groupama.

Charterhouse, a private equity firm specialising in buy-outs, teamed up with fellow private equity houses Permira and CVC to back the formation of Acromas in 2007. According to a Companies House filing, Charterhouse owns 63.2% of the shares in Giles’ ultimate holding company, Expectrum Limited.

The Independent reported that market observers are surprised that the two firms are going head to head for the Groupama brokers given their common investor.

Charterhouse and Acromas declined to comment. Calls seeking comment from Giles and Groupama SA were not returned before going to press.

Groupama put up its UK insurance operations, which includes insurance company Groupama Insurances and brokers Bollington, Lark and Carole Nash, up for sale at the end of last year.

Two of the broking entities, Bollington and Lark, are understood to be pursuing management buy-outs.

A number of companies have been named as potential bidders for the Groupama UK assets, including RSA, Zurich, Allianz and AXA. The Independent said it understood RSA had withdrawn from the bidding.