High-street broker Swinton has closed hundreds of branches over the last few years and has been looking to move to a new distribution model

The Ardonagh Group is close to completing the purchase of Swinton, according to reports.

Insurance Insider is reporting that a deal for the personal lines high-street broker is in its final stages between Ardonagh and current French mutual insurer owners Covéa.

Swinton is one of two major Covéa subsidiaries in the UK. The other is UK insurer Covéa Insurance.

Swinton has been going through a tumultuous time, and in February announced it would be closing 40 of its high street branches, leaving it with 59 branches.

It had already closed 130 branches in 2016, followed by a further 95 closures in 2017.

And on the latest announcement this year, Swinton confirmed that it was “evolving” its distribution model and had invested £35m in a new IT system to enhance digital capabilities.

It had last year dismissed talk of being lined up for sale by Covéa as speculation. Covéa has itself been attempting to acquire Scor over the last few months.

Ardonagh is in the market for aquiring brokers, with chief executive David Ross having previously revealed he wants to double the size of the group over the next few years.

When contacted for a response today, a spokesperson for Swinton said it would be making no comment.

A spokesperson for Ardonagh also stated that it does not comment on market rumour and speculation.

Covéa has been contacted for its response.