’It’s a deal with massive potential,’ says chief commercial officer

Insurance services provider Handl Group has acquired We’ve Got The Key (WGTK) as part of plans to grow in the auto locksmith market, a statement released today (10 October 2023) said.

Norwich-based WGTK provides auto locksmith services to insurers, breakdown and recovery services as well as fleet and rental sectors across the UK.

The firm is currently looking to double the amount of call outs it receives from 50,000 to 100,000 per year and expand its footprint to support motor insurers with key-related claims.

Handl said it acquired the firm as it felt that WGTK had potential to become a “national brand for resolving auto lockouts”.

”The auto locksmith market is hugely disaggregated, with literally thousands of sole traders and a few small panels,” Chris Chatterton, chief commercial officer of Handl, added.

“But, we believe WGTK has the potential to become a national brand for resolving auto lockouts in the same way that Home Serve did for home emergency cover.”

“It’s a deal with massive potential and we’re very excited by this opportunity.”

‘Fulfil our potential’

As part of the move, the firm will align with Coplus, Handl’s specialist ancillary insurer and claims handling business that is also based in Norwich.

And former Electrox Water boss Peter Crellen has been appointed as the managing director of WGTK, who is aiming to double the size of the business in the next 18 months.

“Following the acquisition by Handl Group we are in a great position to fulfil our potential,” he said.

“My immediate priorities are to enhance the leadership team by hiring a head of sales to increase the number of auto locksmiths we have and to grow the number of auto locksmiths on our panel.”

He added that the firm had “lots of new roles” that it was looking to fill.

“This gives us the best possible platform to go after big insurance partnerships and other deals, where dealing with lockouts consistently across the country is a headache because there are so many small, localised operators,” Crellen added.

The deal is expected to complete later this Autumn.