Epping-based private and public hire broker J&M Insurance Services has acquired private hire specialist One Stop Insurance.

The acquisition is J&M's second in the last three months and brings the group a presence in the north of England.

Based in Manchester's city centre, One Stop specialises in private hire insurance for individual taxis and taxi fleets as well as SME commercial insurance. It will become J&M's fifth office.

J&M chief operating officer Paul Dodds said: "Our strategy is to create a £100m business by 2008 and our latest acquisition is another step towards that goal. We will continue to seek opportunities in specialist markets to build on our successes so far."

Over the last three years One Stop has operated from an additional office in Ormskirk as well as Manchester, but by the end of October all business will be consolidated in Manchester. Management and staff will continue with One Stop.

Martin Harris, J&M chairman, said: "The acquisition of One Stop gives us a foothold in the North, from which we can develop our nationwide presence."