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Ardonagh-Bennetts merger in trouble

Ardonagh-Bennetts merger in trouble | Insurance Business

Ardonagh-Bennetts merger in trouble

The Ardonagh Group and Bennetts Motorcycling Services Limited will have five working days to appease the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which this morning released the findings from Phase 1 of the watchdog’s probe. 

In a release, the CMA pointed to the likelihood of “higher prices, less choice, and worse services” for motorcyclists in the UK as a result of the £26 million Ardonagh- Bennetts transaction. The two camps were described as the country’s two leading distributors of motorcycle insurance to private customers.

“The deal would establish Ardonagh as by far the largest supplier in the market, at three times the size of its next largest competitor,” explained the CMA.

The watchdog added: “The merged company would face only limited competition from other much smaller suppliers, such as Bikesure, MCE, and Hastings, as well as a range of other smaller brokers.”

Ardonagh and Bennetts will have to offer undertakings to address the watchdog’s concerns if they don’t want the union to be referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

Commenting on the probe, CMA senior director Colin Raftery said: “We’re concerned that Ardonagh buying up its most important competitor could lead to a lack of competition in the market, resulting in a worse deal for customers across the UK when they next come to renew their policies.”