Managing director Ian Donaldson will continue to lead the business

Ian Donaldson Autonet Insurance

Towergate owner has swooped in to buy a majority stake in van broker Autonet Insurance Services.

Autonet confirmed today that it has agreed a majority sale, subject to to an investment vehicle established by HPS Investment Partners (HPS).

Insurance Times revealed back in May that HPS was closing in on a deal with the broker.

Autonet was founded by Glynn Keeling and then sales director Ian Donaldson in 1998. The broker says the investment will mark the next chapter in its development.

Autonet now controls in excess of £130m in gross written premiums.

It employs over 700 people at its purpose built office in Stoke-on-Trent and has 340,000 live policies.

Managing Director Ian Donaldson and Finance Director Craig Ball will continue to lead the business and will retain an ongoing stake in Autonet. Founder and Chairman Glynn Keeling will leave the business as part of the transaction.

Donaldson said: “We’re delighted to have the support of HPS. We’ve had numerous approaches to sell Autonet.

”This is the one that turned our head because it gives us long term backing for our next phase of growth and is a great opportunity for the business and our staff. The team at HPS share our ‘Planet Autonet’ values to be passionate, loyal, ambitious, nimble, expert and trustworthy.”

Glynn Keeling said: “The business is unrecognisable from where we began in 1998. By remaining true to our founding principle we have taken Autonet from a start up to one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved and delighted that Ian and Craig will be leading the next phase in the Autonet story.

“I am confident the business will go from strength to strength under Ian and Craig’s leadership and with the support and guidance of HPS. I wish them all the very best for the future.”