March 13, 2017

Travelers to buy UK online broker for $490M

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
The Travelers Cos.

Property casualty insurer The Travelers Cos. Inc., which has a major Hartford presence, said Monday it has agreed to acquire a small business online insurance broker in the United Kingdom for about $490 million.

Travelers is purchasing Simply Business from Aquiline Capital Partners LLC. The cost of the deal includes debt repayment and other obligations at closing.

Operating since 2005, Simply Business distributes small business insurance policies in the United Kingdom, offering products online on behalf of a broad panel of carriers.

Alan Schnitzer, CEO of Travelers, said the acquisition will advance Travelers' ability to do business digitally. Greg Toczydlowski, Travelers' executive vice president and president of business insurance, added that the deal will provide Travelers with access to serve the micro-business market in the U.S. and other areas.

Simply Business has more than 425,000 micro-business customers, covering more than 1,000 classes of business. Over the past three years, insurance premiums placed by Simply Business grew at a compound annual rate of approximately 17.5 percent to to $113 million in 2016.

Travelers will fund the transaction, expected to close in the third quarter, through a combination of debt financing and cash.

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