Markerstudy buys Co-op Insurance in ‘perfect fit’ deal worth £185m

Following a year of ‘hard work’ behind the scenes Markerstudy Group is set to acquire the motor and home insurance business of the Co-op, one of the biggest household names in the country.

The group, which employs some 700 people in and around Tunbridge Wells, is paying £185million for the package.

Its existing local portfolio includes One Warwick Park Hotel, Bewl Water, Salomons Estate, Auto Windscreens, VisionTrack and Times Local Newspapers.

The move will add another 1,000 people to the Markerstudy payroll pushing its head count to around 5,000. 

“It’s taken over a year of hard work to achieve this tremendous deal that will catapult us into 2019,” said Lizzie Smith-Forman, Group Marketing and Communications Director based at Salomons.

She added: “The Co-op is, of course, a household name that started trading almost 200 years ago, and now has in excess of 4.6million active members.

“In contrast, Markerstudy is in its 18th year, yet we have an impressive track record of success due to our people, our culture and our market-leading products.”

The deal is seen as a ‘perfect fit’ with the Co-op and Markerstudy both looking for growth in the insurance market and sharing common values when it comes to supporting community causes. Since 2012, Markerstudy has donated around £5million to charities and projects.

As part of the 13-year agreement Markerstudy will be distributing motor and home insurance products using the Co-op brand, and have access to their membership base.

The transaction, which it hopes to complete in approximately six months’ time, is subject to regulatory approval from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across insurance, food, funerals and legal services. It also has an online electrical store.

Yesterday, Tunbridge Wells MP and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, responded to the deal.

He said: “Markerstudy is one of Britain’s most successful businesses and we are rpoud Tunbridge Wells is its home.

“I am sure, Markerstudy’s positive involvement in the local community will have appealed to the Co-op.”

Markerstudy Group of Companies (MSG) is a privately-owned UK organisation headquartered in Bessels Green, near Sevenoaks. The CEO is Kevin Spencer.

Established in 2001, it has been recognised as a Best Company to Work For in the UK at The Sunday Times Best Companies Awards for five consecutive years and was a Top 5 company in 2017 in the Best Big Companies category.

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