Howden in giant broking acquisition

Howden in giant broking acquisition | Insurance Business Australia

Howden in giant broking acquisition

Howden Group Holdings (Howden) has secured a total holding of 86.965% of the share capital of Assiteca S.p.A (Assiteca), the largest Italian-headquartered broker.

Today, Howden confirmed that it has signed a definitive share sale and purchase agreement with Lucca's S.r.l., a company controlled by Assiteca's founder, Luciano Lucca, and Chaise S.p.A., a company owned indirectly by Tikehau Growth Equity II.

With Assiteca highly complementary to Howden's broking business in Italy, the deal is expected to create a major force in the Italian broking market, providing enhanced client offerings and further opportunities for all employees.

Howden Broking Group CEO José Manuel González said the deal reflects the broking group's commitment to building a leading broking business in Italy and more broadly in Europe by joining with the leading entrepreneurial talent in its chosen markets to bring much-needed choice to clients.

“The union of Assiteca and Howden is an extraordinary opportunity for our clients, our colleagues, and the insurance market,” he said.

A major broker, Assiteca has 750 employees across 19 cities in Italy, as well as in Spain and Switzerland, with a turnover of around €90 million (about AU$138.68 million) in brokerage commission.

Subject to the completion of the transaction, various members of Assiteca's management will retain their key positions. In particular, Lucca will remain as chairman of the board of directors, Gabriele Giacoma as CEO, and Nicola Girelli as finance director.

González commented: “Assiteca is already a key partner of our wider group in Italy through our sister company DUAL Italia, and so we know well that Luciano and Gabriele have built a team which shares an outlook with Howden: one to deliver quality service and solutions to our clients, with a personal touch driven by core employee ownership.”

Luciano Lucca, Assiteca's founder and chairman of the board of directors, added: “[The deal] will create a new international giant in Italy, which will contribute a significant value and dynamism in the market. I strongly believe in this transaction because, as I did throughout my 50 years of business activity, I love investing in the future.”

Roberto Quagliuolo, head of private equity Italy at Tikehau Capital, stated that Howden is an excellent partner for the next phase of Assiteca's development, and the transaction enables Assiteca to “become the Italian pillar in the establishment of this leading international broking group in the European market.”

“We are honoured to have participated [in] this step of the Assiteca's journey alongside Mr. Lucca and the top management of the company,” Quagliuolo said.