Takeover of Lloyd’s broker achieved days after talks collapse

THB has completed the acquisition of Lloyd’s broker PWS after returning to the negotiating table days after talks had collapsed. The company is now in discussions to acquire another Lloyd’s broker.

The deal will see THB acquire the Lloyd’s broking business of PWS International and selected overseas interests of the PWS group for £8.5m in cash and loan notes. THB Group chief executive Vic Thompson said the legal issues that had caused discussions to fall apart two weeks ago had been overcome. “The deal is more or less identical to what it was before,” he said.

THB commenced talks with PWS Holdings in the autumn, but they broke down on 15 January when it became clear that the deal could not be completed within agreed timescales. At the time THB said legal complexities had brought the deal to a halt.

Thompson said: “We consider this to be a very important acquisition strategically for THB. The result is a stronger THB, well positioned as a first choice for clients seeking specialist global insurance solutions.

“As an independent reinsurance broker with a strong international presence, PWS complements THB’s excellent reputation in the London insurance market very well.”

Thompson added: “PWS is well established in key growth markets in Singapore and Brazil, which are fast developing into regional insurance hubs for the Far East and South America, as evidenced by Lloyd’s own plans to expand into these markets.”

PWS Holdings chief executive Stephen Card will join the THB board and be appointed chief executive of THB International Holdings.

Thompson admitted that prior to the deal with PWS, THB’s cost base looked quite high compared to its revenue. He said: “However PWS is a little under- resourced so that’s where the match can be made.” He also said that PWS staff would relocate to THB’s office in Leadenhall, adding: “In June the lease on PWS’s office runs out so we will not renew it, and a cost saving can be made.”

Thompson indicated that further acquisitions were on the cards. “We are in talks with another Lloyd’s broker, but this one is smaller – not as big as PWS,” he said.