Ardonagh signs on to buy Bennetts from Saga

Ardonagh’s Atlanta division has exchanged contracts to purchase the motorcycle specialist broker.

Ardonagh has signed on the dotted line to purchase motorbike broker Bennetts Motorcycling Services from Saga, Insurance Age is first to report.

The business confirmed that Atlanta Investment Holdings C, a subsidiary of Ardonagh, has exchanged contracts in relation to the purchase of the broker.

According to a statement Bennetts will join Autonet, Carole Nash and Swinton as part of Atlanta, Ardonagh’s Retail platform which is headed up by Ian Donaldson.

In a statement on the London Stock Exchange, Euan Sutherland, Saga group chief executive officer, commented: ”As Saga seeks to focus on our core branded business, I am pleased to announce we have agreed the sale of Bennetts.

“This is a good outcome for Saga shareholders and Bennetts customers who will find a good home in The Ardonagh Group.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Bennetts was bought by Saga Services in 2015 for £26.26m.

Bennetts was founded in 1930 and, according to Ardonagh, provides cover for more than 200,000 motorcyclists across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The broker services riders online and via its 200-strong team across sites in Peterborough and Coventry. Bennetts also operates BikeSocial, an online news and advice platform which has amassed a significant following across social media.

Ian Donaldson, CEO of Atlanta said: “More than just an insurance provider, Bennetts holds a distinct place within the biking world thanks to its approach to social channels, with BikeSocial providing a hub of expert resources and advice for riders of all persuasions across the UK.”

“It’s this client-centric focus which makes it a brand we’ve admired for some time and one that’s set to complement our business lines beautifully. We look forward to the collaboration opportunities ahead.”

CEO of The Ardonagh Group David Ross said: “Bennetts holds a well-respected position in the bike insurance sector, making it an ideal addition to the Group.”

Carole Nash – another motorcycle specialist – was bought by Ardonagh in 2017.

Ross continued: “As we gather further momentum into the new decade and continue capitalising on the opportunities that arise from the breadth and depth of our position, we look forward to welcoming another leading brand into the Ardonagh family.”

Vince Chaney, managing director of Bennetts added: “As Bennetts enters its 91st year, the acquisition into Atlanta presents new opportunities for us to continue to improve our products and services for Britain’s motorcyclists.

“This is an exciting time within Bennetts and we’re looking forward to working with our new colleagues across The Ardonagh Group.”

Earlier this year, Saga said it would look at performance and cost efficiencies in 2020.

It said in a trading update in January: “For the full year ended 31 January 2020 we expect Saga branded home and motor policies to be approximately 3% lower than the prior year, reflecting a highly competitive market and a disciplined approach to new business.”

Saga’s most recent full year results showed its retail broking operation saw profit before tax drop 19.1% for the full 12 months to January 2019. Saga floated on the Stock Exchange in 2014.

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