Hastings Direct in takeover talks

Hastings Group Holdings, the Bexhill-based insurance giant, has announced it’s in talks that could lead to a takeover.

The company, whose brands include Hastings Direct, confirmed it has received an approach by its main shareholder RMI and Finnish insurance conglomerate Sampo.

It has now established an independent committee that comprises of the full Board of Hastings, excluding Herman Bosman, the RMI representative, to consider the approach.

In a statement confirming the approach, it said: “There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.”

Under the rules of the UK Takeover Code, the consortium will have until 5pm on Wednesday 26th August to announce a firm intention to make an offer.

According to Andreas van Embden, an analyst at Peel Hunt, a deal would enable Sampo to use the digital underwriting capabilities of Hastings to grow further in Scandinavia and diversify geographically into the UK insurance market. 

“There is a valid strategic rationale for Sampo and RMI to make this consortium-style approach, in our view, with both institutions patient acquirers of insurance assets,” he said.

The Hastings Group, which was founded in 1996 and has its headquarters in Collington Avenue, offers a range of insurance products and services.

It has more than 2.7 million live customer policies and employs around 3,400 staff in Bexhill, Leicester, Gibraltar and London.

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