U.K.’s Highway Insurance Acquires Direct Motorline

November 3, 2004

The U.K.’s Highway Insurance Holdings has confirmed the acquisition of telebroker Direct Motorline Limited for £3.4 million ($6.2 million) plus £0.6 million ($1.1 million) in respect of tangible net assets.

Direct Motorline handles over 33,000 private car and commercial vehicle motor policies through a panel of 25 insurers generating brokerage income of £3.7 million ($6.74 million) from gross written premiums in excess of £13 million ($23.7 million).

For the year ending 31 December 2005, Direct Motorline is expected to generate a pre-tax profit of approximately £500,000 ($910,000). The acquisition brings the total number of policies handled by Highway Retail to over 80,000.

The company is based in Ipswich, and will become part of the Highway Retail Division and will trade alongside A Quote Insurance Services and Elite Underwriting.

Following the integration, Neil Hames, director of Direct Motorline, will head operations in Ipswich, supported by Highway Retail personnel. Andrew Gibson and Paul Cosh will join him on the board of Direct Motorline. The Direct Motorline operation is expected to relocate to Highway’s Ipswich premises in early 2005 where it will be able to share facilities such as IT and telephony.

Cosh, managing director of Highway Retail, commented: “By adding Direct Motorline to the Highway Retail stable we now have the ability to handle incoming calls with greater efficiency by directing them in real time to areas of our business with spare capacity.

“This new facility combined with the economies of scale that are created by the acquisition places Highway Retail in an excellent position to grow considerably in the next few years,”he added.

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