February 9, 2017

RWK Goodman advises on the sale of leading South West insurance broker

Our Corporate & Commercial team acted as lead advisers to the sellers of one of the South West’s largest providers of insurance services, Higos Holdings Limited, on its sale to Global Risk Partners (GRP) for an undisclosed sum.

Higos, which employs around 300 people and has 20 offices in Somerset, Dorset, South Gloucestershire, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire, specialises in the provision of personal and commercial line general insurance products. It was founded by managing director Ian Gosden in 1990 and handles in excess of £50m of gross written premium.

Mr Gosden and his management team, who will receive shares in the buyer will continue to lead the day-to-day running of the business.

Katharine Mortimer, James Worrall and Edward Chapman of our Corporate & Commercial team in Bath advised the sellers. Katharine, head of the team, said: “We were delighted to advise and support Ian and his team on the sale of Higos to GRP.  We dealt with around 80 employee shareholders as part of the negotiations and are pleased that they will continue to have a stake in the new company as it begins its next chapter. This is an interesting time for the financial services market as many firms look to acquire robust businesses which will enable them to grow their market share, gain competitive advantage and strengthen their client proposition.”

Ian Gosden commented: "After 26 years of steering my own ship I am delighted for Higos to join forces with GRP, who are committed to supporting our core values of community broking and independent professional advice. With the support of GRP, and my senior management team, l am excited for the future and the increased opportunities we can now take advantage of. I would like to thank the team at RWK Goodman for the important role they played.”

Nick Woodmansey, Corporate Finance Director at PKF Francis Clark who provided deal structuring and tax advice, to the transaction added: “PKF Francis Clark has advised Higos for many years, and it gives us great pleasure to assist the shareholders realise value for their investment but still maintain a key role in developing the business under new ownership. This type of deal structure is the foundation for a win win situation for both parties.”

GRP is an investment vehicle aimed at brokers and managing general agents (MGAs) trading in the UK retail and global specialty insurance markets. It is backed by Penta Capital LLP, which specialises in funding private equity opportunities in the UK mid-market sector.

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