Highway - Cox talks collapse

by Angelique Ruzicka

Merger talks between Highway Insurance and Cox Insurance have ended but confusion remains over who walked away from the deal.

A source close to Highway Insurance Holdings said that the motor insurer slammed on the brakes and turned its back on the deal. But Cox maintains that both companies mutually decided to end talks. Cox chief executive Neil Utley said: "We both ended talks in March. We ended the talks because we didn't feel the deal was in line with the interests of our shareholders."

Cox estimated the cost of the due diligence process at around £2m. In a statement earlier this year, Cox said that it would continue to "exploit organic growth opportunities as well as explore selective acquisitions, when suitable opportunities arise".

Highway, meanwhile, said that it had a strong future as a specialist underwriter of motor insurance and as an independent public company.