Allianz Cornhill has insisted that it did not pay over the odds for Home & Legacy, the high net worth specialist it bought last month.

The insurer is thought to have paid around £50m for the broker, surprising some sectors of the market who suggested that £25m would have been a more appropriate value for the business

While the insurer would not confirm the amount paid, Nick Hall, general manager of personal lines, said it had not over-valued the business.

"We looked at the growth opportunities and we were happy with our valuation methods," he said.

He denied the company's bid was forced up by competition from rivals.

"We didn't change our [initial] bid in response to other bidders."

It is understood 16 other parties were interested in Home and Legacy, including brokers, insurers and venture capitalists.

Home & Legacy controls £30m GWP. In 2005 it reported a pre-tax profit of £5.2m with a turnover of £8.2m.

Following the acquisition, Allianz Conrhill is looking to grow Home & Legacy to £100m GWP within five years.

It is looking to do this by expanding its distribution base, adding to the 1,100 sub-brokers that already use Home & Legacy, and adding new products.

Hall said "informal" discussions with insurers were already underway to create a motor panel.

Other products such as pet, equine, pleasure craft and classic cars might also be added in the future.

"The new products won't happen at once.

"We will look at the products and work out how we can price them effectively," said Hall.