Dorset Bidco’s £1.66 Billion Cash Offer For Hastings Group Holdings

Ashurst advised J.P. Morgan Cazenove in relation to the cash offer for Hastings Group Holdings.

The offer will be made by Dorset Bidco, a newly incorporated company formed by a consortium comprising Sampo and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI), and values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Hastings Group at approximately £1.66 billion.

Founded in 1996, the Hastings Group is one of the leading motor insurance providers to the UK market, and has recently been diversifying into other P&C insurance products including home insurance. Hastings has 3 million Live Customer Policies (LCPs) and employs over 3,300 colleagues at sites in Bexhill, Leicester, Gibraltar and London. Hastings provides straightforward products and services to UK car, bike, van and home insurance customers with around 90% of policies directly underwritten by the Hastings Group’s Gibraltar-based underwriting business, Advantage Insurance Company.

Sampo is a leading Nordic insurance group listed on Nasdaq Helsinki with a market capitalisation of approximately €17.6 billion. The Sampo Group is made up of the parent company Sampo and its subsidiaries If P&C Insurance, Mandatum Life and Topdanmark. Nordea, the Nordic banking group and Nordax, a leading Nordic niche bank, are Sampo’s associated companies.

RMI is a South African financial services investment holding company founded in 1977 with its shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a market capitalisation of approximately R 48.4 billion. RMI aims to be a value-adding, active enabler of leadership and innovation in financial services and currently holds an investment portfolio including an existing investment in Hastings Group and investments in some of South Africa’s premier insurance brands and in next-generation financial services and asset management companies.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as financial adviser to Dorset Bidco in relation to the transaction.

The Ashurst team is being led by partners Tom Mercer (Picture) and Tim Rennie assisted by senior associates Darren Phelan and Briony Holcombe and associate Colin Bugler.

Involved fees earner: Colin Bugler – Ashurst; Briony Holcombe – Ashurst; Tom Mercer – Ashurst; Darren Phelan – Ashurst; Tim Rennie – Ashurst;

Law Firms: Ashurst;

Clients: J.P. Morgan Cazenove;