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Arthur J Gallagher acquires Oval; ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE.

ARTHUR J. Gallagher has today announced the acquisition of The Oval Group (Oval) for a total net consideration of approximately PS199 million payable in cash.

Established in 2003, Oval is an independent commercial insurance broking and financial services business, headquartered in London, with 24 office locations stretching from Aberdeen to Exeter and just over 1,000 employees. It is expected to generate more than PS80 million in annualised revenue across the operating units and over PS22 million of annualised EBITDAC - before integration costs - growing to PS27 million in 2016.

The combined operation will have more than 80 offices and 4,000 employees across the UK, with the combined UK Retail businesses alone - Arthur J. Gallagher, the recently acquired Giles operations and Oval - directly controlling PS1 billion of gross written premium from more than 70 locations, employing approximately 2,600 people.

Oval's strong retail broking position in the UK and focus on medium to large corporate clients provides a powerful complement to the SME-bias of Arthur J. Gallagher's existing UK Retail division, into which it will fully integrate over time, while its wider business brings exciting growth opportunities for the UK underwriting, wholesale and personal lines operations.

Peter Blanc, Group CEO of Oval, will become CEO of the significantly expanded UK Retail division with immediate effect, following Brendan McManus's recently announced decision to depart the business once the major integration milestones incorporating the Giles business have been reached.

Brendan will work with Peter towards a phased handover in January 2015 in a consultancy capacity. As part of the transaction, both Oval Healthcare and Oval Financial Services businesses will become part of the UK-based specialist consultancy Arthur J. Gallagher Employee Benefits, led by CEO Tim Johnson, widening its portfolio and establishing critical mass for UK operations.

Arthur J. Gallagher International CEO David Ross commented: "While the acquisition of Giles last November was transformational to our UK retail presence, today's addition of Oval creates a vital step-change not just for us but the wider UK insurance market. This key strategic acquisition creates a UK broking powerhouse that can now cover the entire spectrum and scale of client risks from a position of extensive expertise and experience, which will accelerate our organic growth.

"Oval broadens and enhances our distribution network by taking us into at least 10 new geographic territories while establishing us as the largest retail commercial broker in several core cities.

Simultaneously it deepens and diversifies our national niche and specialty practice offerings, maximises growth opportunities for our bancassurance relationships and strengthens the local and regional leadership teams with first-class individuals that, just like us, focus on flexibility, responsiveness and excellent client service."

Peter Blanc added: "I'm incredibly excited at the prospect of harnessing the combined strength of the Arthur J. Gallagher retail businesses, for the benefits of our clients spread right across the UK, and very much look forward to working with Brendan and David to ensure this process is as smooth and swift as possible.

"I'm also delighted to have brought our superb financial services and healthcare businesses into the Arthur J. Gallagher family, where they will not only provide natural but game-changing complementary skills and expertise."


Peter Blanc, Group CEO of Oval, will become <BCEO of the significantly expanded UK retail division with immediate effect
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 10, 2014
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