Consolidator confirms bank facility for acquisitions.

Oval has confirmed its £115m refinancing package.

As revealed by Insurance Times last week, the broking group has secured a £115m debt facility with a group of UK banks that will enable it to move to the next stage of its expansion programme.

The facility was arranged by Barclays and Lloyds TSB and also includes substantial commitments from the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

Oval said it would continue to pursue its strategy of organic growth, combined with acquisitions of high-quality regional broking and financial advisory businesses.

Last week, Oval acquired Powell Insurance Brokers in Liverpool and Williams Insurance Brokers in Wales, restarting its acquisition drive after a summer hiatus, which it attributed to the poor economic conditions and rising sale prices.

Oval said it had a healthy pipeline of further acquisitions that would add scale and expertise in each of Oval’s key segments, although the business would continue to proceed with caution as long as the economic environment remained so uncertain.

Phillip Hodson, chief executive of Oval, said: “We are delighted with the new facility and to be working with such a strong group of banks, and remain committed to building a substantial, independent, client-focused insurance and financial services business.

“The new facilities, in addition to the substantial debt and equity funding already secured over recent months, will help us to deliver that vision.”

Tony Cook, director of leveraged finance in the Leeds office of Barclays, said: “Oval has a proven status as a major force in the insurance broking market reflecting the success of its buy and build strategy over the past five years, during which it has integrated more than 30 acquisitions.”

Cook added that the debt facility showed that credit was still available to good quality companies, despite the financial turmoil.