£75m of premium to come under Insurer's control

Groupama UK has confirmed that it has completed the purchase of a majority shareholding in Lark Group Limited for an undisclosed sum. The change of ownership has received formal regulatory approval from the FSA.

Lark Group was established in 1948 and is now one of the UK's top 50 insurance brokers and in the top 10 independent brokers. The business controls in excess of £75 million in premiums. Lark is a significant player in the UK’s commercial and personal insurance sectors, and operates in a number of specialist niche markets, including the insurance of high net worth individuals. Lark Group employs 250 people and operates from five locations in London and the South East of England.

Speaking today, Pierre Lefèvre, Chairman and Chief Executive at Groupama UK said: “This investment moves us towards the UK’s top twenty largest intermediary groups with approaching £60 million of brokerage and managing premiums of £220 million. Our involvement with Lark will complement our other retail businesses and will offer us a good balance and some strong foundations from which to build. Lark Group is a very professional, highly respected, independent insurance intermediary that has grown strongly in recent years and has some interesting development plans. We will be working closely with the current management to help them build their success.”

Whilst Lark Group will work co-operatively with the UK Group’s other retail businesses, it will retain the Lark brand and continue to operate independently under the leadership of the existing team of Executive Directors. All of the UK Group’s retail businesses operate entirely separately from Groupama Insurances, the group’s underwriting subsidiary.

Commenting on the agreement with Groupama UK, Graham Lark, Chairman of Lark Group said; “Whilst we have a growing, well diversified business that is developing strongly, we recognise that we need a strong partner to invest in our success and to help us move to the next level. Groupama shares our vision of the future and we believe that they are just the right partner to help us realise the full potential of the Lark Group.”