Cox Acquires J. McWhirter (Insurance Brokers) Ltd.

October 22, 2004

The U.K.’s Cox Insurance Holdings Plc announced that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of J. McWhirter (Insurance Brokers) Ltd. (JMW), a Northern Ireland broking business for a total cash consideration of £5 million ($9.13 million).

Cox will fund the acquisition from “internal resources.”

It noted that the acquisition would make the company a “key player in Northern Ireland and will provide a platform for future acquisitions there. The deal increases Cox’s branch network by eight branches bringing the total number to 54 and increases the Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Cox’s broking business by £20.1 million [$36.7 million].”

The company said it “continues to see considerable opportunities for consolidation in the broking market and is actively pursuing several other attractive broking opportunities. JMW is a good strategic fit for Cox, given the complementary geographic location and its focus on personal lines business, one of Cox’s key areas of expertise. Managing Director of JMW, Jim McWhirter, will continue to provide ongoing support through a part-time consultancy agreement prior to retiring fully from the business. All other management and staff will remain with the company following the acquisition.”

Cox CEO Andrew Fisher commented: “The acquisition reflects our stated aim to grow the Cox business and specifically the broking network in sectors in which we have expertise. It will also open up further acquisition opportunities for us in the Northern Ireland market. We look forward to working with our new colleagues and welcome them to the Cox Group.”

JMW’s Managing Director, Jim McWhirter, noted: “JMW has grown substantially since its inception in 1977 thanks to the support and dedication of my staff. Although it will be sad to no longer take an active role in the business, I have every faith that clients will continue to receive a first class service under the new Cox ownership.”

Cox Insurance Holdings Plc is a leading company in the UK retail insurance market. The group combines the UK’s largest motor insurance underwriter at Lloyd’s with a growing broking business. Cox is the UK’s largest insurer of motorcycles and the seventh biggest motor insurer.

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