The firm says the purchase will provide ’a solid base for growth’

Specialist agricultural broker Country and Commercial Insurance Brokers (CCIB) has acquired the share capital of Worcester-based Barpax Associates, to help build the firm’s footprint in the Three Counties.

Barpax Associates, which was founded in 2003, is an agricultural broker for the farming sector in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The business provides farm combined and motor insurance for farmers and growers based in these regions.

Barpax’s founders, Geoff Barber and Maria Paxton, will remain in their current positions as directors.

CCIB, meanwhile, is part of Global Risk Partners (GRP) – a business that targets acquiring brokers and managing general agents (MGAs) trading in the UK retail, global and specialty insurance markets.

Business growth

For CCIB, the transaction signals expansion. Debbie Airey, managing director at CCIB, said the acquisition will “build our footprint beyond CCIB’s Lancashire heartland and give us a solid base for growth in the Three Counties”.

She continued: “Barpax is a well-established business with a great brand, which is underpinned by its reputation for excellent customer service.

“Geoff and Maria have built Barpax from scratch and I’m delighted to welcome them and their team to CCIB and GRP.

“CCIB will be able to bring the added firepower from being part of the GRP family to build out the operation faster and further.”

Strategic purchase

Barpax Associates is now the second acquisition for Airey and partner Anne Haworth since the pair sold a majority stake in CCIB to GRP in January 2018.

Airey added: “It was always part of our strategy that, with GRP’s help, we would grow CCIB both organically and through bolt-on acquisitions.

“Agricultural insurance is an important part of GRP’s retail portfolio and we believe there are plenty of other opportunities in the pipeline.”

Mike Bruce, group managing director at GRP, said: “Barpax is a great local business with a strong heritage and very high client retention within its footprint.

“I am confident that this acquisition will deliver additional product and service benefits to their clients and that, under Debbie’s leadership, Barpax will accelerate rapidly within CCIB.”