Broker completes 'first of many' in 2009

Giles has confirmed it is still on the hunt for a “transformational” acquisition after it failed to complete a deal to buy Oval last year.

The consolidator said it would continue to bid for small and large brokers this year but it had not ruled out completing a major deal.

Its first acquisition of the year was LRG Insurance, a commercial broker based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. The deal was its third purchase in the region following its moves for SBP Chapman Stevens, which has a branch in High Wycombe, and Dickson Insurance Brokers in Watford.

Chris Giles, chief executive of Giles Insurance Brokers, confirmed the group had the funds to complete more deals. “We believe that there are a number of attractive opportunities for us,” he said. “It is also worth emphasising that we are one of the few companies with funding to make acquisitions.”

Giles was handed a £300m-plus acquisition war chest last March after private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners bought a majority stake in the business.

Giles has also been linked to rivals Jelf and Heath Lambert.

Last month, Chris Giles told Insurance Times that he was keen to reignite a bid for Oval, after Phillip Hodson, Oval’s chief executive, rejected the approach. Giles denied Hodson’s claims that the offer came from Charterhouse but did not rule out a rebrand if any deal was made.

Following the purchase of LRG, Giles said there was no limit to the number of potential deals and he was looking at all regions of the UK. The company completed 21 acquisitions last year.

Ashley Cooper, LRG’s managing director, is to become a regional director for the group.