Ageas has sent two acquisition proposals to DLG, which were both rejected

Adam Winslow has said he is only focused on Direct Line Group’s (DLG) internal plans for growth after being questioned about Ageas’ proposal to acquire the insurer.

Belgium-based insurer Ageas said it was considering making an offer of around £3.1bn to acquire DLG at the end of last month (28 February 2024) and then returned with an improved bid on 13 March 2024.

Both offers were rejected by DLG, claiming they were “uncertain, unattractive and that it significantly undervalues DLG and its future prospects, while also being highly opportunistic in nature”.

During a media call about DLG’s preliminary 2023 results, which were published today (21 March 2024), Winslow was asked what information he could provide about the offer and why his firm may have become a target for Ageas.

In response, he said: “We can’t talk about the possible offer by Ageas beyond what we said on the 13 March announcement, rejecting their revised proposal.

“I am here and solely focused on talking about the results and plans for the future and I am absolutely not going to speculate about what might happen.”


DLG announced Winslow, who was the former Aviva UKGI top boss, as its new chief executive in August 2023, with him taking up the role on 1 March 2024.

He spent his first day in DLG’s Leeds office listening to employees’ suggestions.

Since then, he has travelled to other sites to pick up as much feedback as possible to help bolster the insurer’s services.

Winslow said during the media call that he was focused on trying to make the insurer “the best possible business it can be” and spoke about a series of measures the firm was taking to do this.

This includes reducing its cost base, improving claims performance and optimising pricing capability.

“That in combination allows us to, effectively, confidently say to you that we are going to raise our net insurance margin target from 10% to 13% by 2026,” Winslow said.

“Ultimately, those are the levers I can control and influence.”