GRP has made its first acquisition since Searchlight completed its investment in the group, with a deal to buy healthcare broker Premier Choice Healthcare [PCH].
This is also GRP’s first acquisition in the health insurance sector, and, according to Head of M&A Stephen Ross, following completion PCH will become GRP’s healthcare hub.
He said: “Our intention is to drive further acquisitions of healthcare businesses and portfolios, expanding our overall proposition to offer both new and existing clients a suite of healthcare products alongside our existing services.”
“We believe that there is significant M&A opportunity in the healthcare market. We are keen to mirror the acquisition success we have had in the UK regional general insurance market. With Searchlight’s support and their significant capital backing, we intend to rapidly grow our market footprint and have already developed a strong pipeline of transactions.”
Mr Ross said that PCH had an excellent reputation in the healthcare marketplace. It was founded in 1996 and controls circa £60m of GWP. PCH, which is based in Towcester and has 25 employees, provides a full suite of group risk and protection products to SMEs and individual customer base.
MD Claire Ginnelly will continue to lead the business following completion with Teresa Ostle as operations director. Richard Holden, who has a strong track record of success in the market, including at Chase Templeton, will join the business as PCH’s commercial director.
Claire Ginnelly, managing director, said: “After 25 years as a successful independent, we wanted to push ourselves to the next stage of growth, and are very excited to be joining GRP as the healthcare hub with a clear brief to accelerate the healthcare operation.”
“We were impressed by the resources that GRP can make available to us for acquisitions, and our reach will grow exponentially by developing our links with the other hubs in GRP’s retail division. Our focus will be on growing our business organically and by acquisition. As part of GRP, we remain committed to our current distribution channels and the range of products we advise on.”
Mike Bruce, GRP Group CEO said: “I am delighted to welcome Claire, Teresa, Richard and all the PCH team to GRP, especially as it is our first deal in the healthcare sector. It signposts our intention to accelerate our growth trajectory following the Searchlight investment, and we look forward to rapidly develop in this sector.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.