handl gets the Key in latest acquisition

Company also outlines ambitious growth plans for next 18 months

handl gets the Key in latest acquisition

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

Insurance provider handl Group has formally agreed to acquire the entire share capital of auto locksmith firm We’ve Got The Key (WGTK), with the ambition of doubling the company's size within 18 months. The move also comes after the appointment of Peter Crellen as the managing director.

Chris Chatterton, chief commercial officer for handl, emphasised the new management's significant investment in “people plus technology,” aligning with handl's core theme. With this, WGTK aims to achieve a 4-5% market share in the auto locksmith sector, with an additional goal of doubling callouts from 50,000 to 100,000 annually and expanding their services to assist motor insurers with key-related claims.

WGTK caters to insurers, breakdown and recovery services, fleet and rental sectors, and consumers in need of urgent assistance for lost car keys. The company also serves trade customers with significant fleets and plans to expand its reach to car dealerships, self-insured fleets, and secure more insurance contracts.

Headquartered in Norwich, WGTK will align its operations with Coplus, handl’s specialist ancillary insurer and claims handling business, also based in the city.

The specific financial details of the acquisition remain undisclosed, and the completion of the deal is anticipated later in the autumn.

“The auto locksmith market is hugely disaggregated, with literally thousands of sole traders, and a few small panels, but we believe WGTK has the potential to become a national brand for resolving auto lockouts in the same way that Home Serve did for home emergency cover,” Chatterton said.

“It’s a deal with massive potential, and we’re very excited by this opportunity. Investing in the management team is one of the first things we do when we make an acquisition, so we’re delighted to welcome Peter on board,” he said.

Cogent Hire, the credit hire business under handl Group, also recently announced the appointment of Luke LeSauteur to the newly established role of commercial director.

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