CompaniesAug 19 2015

Jelf in takeover talks with insurance broker

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Jelf in takeover talks with insurance broker

Jelf has confirmed it is in discussions with insurance broker and risk adviser Marsh in relation to a possible cash offer by the latter for the entire issued, and to be issued, ordinary share capital of the insurance, brokerage and advisory business.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Jelf bosses said discussions, which are ongoing, are at an early stage and there can be no certainty any offer will ultimately be made for Jelf.

The board of Jelf, which is being advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners, stated they will issue a further statement when appropriate.

A possible takeover by Marsh comes just days after Jelf bought Hertfordshire-based general insurance broker Libra Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum.

Jelf stated a large proportion of the purchase price paid for Libra was deferred, with its payment contingent upon the delivery of an agreed increase in the Libra’s core earnings.

The deal with Libra is to be funded through an existing loan facility with Barclays and will not require additional financing.

Back in May, the insurance, brokerage and advisory business reported revenues had increased 11 per cent to £43.7m for the six months ended 31 March 2015, compared with £39.3m for the same six month period the year before.

For the insurance business earnings were up 18.2 per cent to £5.3m, while the employee benefits division saw pre-tax and interest earnings increase by 27.2 per cent to £1.7m.

Meanwhile, organic growth, excluding the impact of acquisitions, was 4.2 per cent, as margins improved and investment was to be made in both sales capability and infrastructure.