The deal marks the broking group’s first foray into the health insurance market, with further acquisitions planned for the sector

GRP has completed its first acquisition following its takeover by Searchlight with a deal for health insurance broker Premier Choice Healthcare (PCH), subject to regulatory approval.

The deal also mark’s GRP’s entrance into the health insurance market, with head of M&A Stephen Ross revealing that PCH will become GRP’s healthcare hub as it plans further acquisitions in the sector.

“Our intention is to drive further acquisitions of healthcare businesses and portfolios, expanding our overall proposition to offer both new and existing clients a suite of healthcare products alongside our existing services,” he said.

“We believe that there is significant M&A opportunity in the healthcare market. We are keen to mirror the acquisition success we have had in the UK regional general insurance market.  With Searchlight’s support and their significant capital backing, we intend to rapidly grow our market footprint and have already developed a strong pipeline of transactions.” 

Towcester-based PCH was founded in 1996 and controls around £60m of GWP, providing a full suite of group risk and protection products to SMEs and individual customers.

Managing director Claire Ginnelly will continue to lead the business following completion, with Teresa Ostle as operations director. Richard Holden, who has a strong track record of success in the market, including at Chase Templeton, will join the business as PCH’s commercial director.

Ginnelly said of the deal: “After 25 years as a successful independent, we wanted to push ourselves to the next stage of growth, and are very excited to be joining GRP as the healthcare hub with a clear brief to accelerate the healthcare operation.

“We were impressed by the resources that GRP can make available to us for acquisitions, and our reach will grow exponentially by developing our links with the other hubs in GRP’s retail division. Our focus will be on growing our business organically and by acquisition. As part of GRP, we remain committed to our current distribution channels and the range of products we advise on.”

GRP group chief executive Mike Bruce said: “I am delighted to welcome Claire, Teresa, Richard and all the PCH team to GRP, especially as it is our first deal in the healthcare sector. It signposts our intention to accelerate our growth trajectory following the Searchlight investment, and we look forward to rapidly developing in this sector.”