Direct Line says no to Ageas takeover bid - report

Most recent offer rebuffed despite surpassing valuation

Direct Line says no to Ageas takeover bid - report

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Belgian insurer Ageas has reportedly made an unsuccessful £3.1 billion bid to acquire UK-based Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, sources close to the matter have revealed.

Despite engaging advisers to facilitate the potential takeover, Ageas encountered resistance. Both Direct Line and Ageas have opted not to comment on the situation, according to Bloomberg.

Of note is Direct Line’s valuation, which sits at approximately £2.2 billion. The group emerged from a division of the Royal Bank of Scotland through an initial public offering in 2012.

The company, primarily known for its motor insurance services, has been navigating a period marked by leadership changes and subdued profitability levels.

The firm experienced turbulence last year following the departure of chief executive officer Penny James, which was precipitated by a surge in weather-related claims that caught the market off-guard.

Earlier this month, the insurance group announced that Adam Winslow will officially take on James’ former duties beginning March 1, 2024. He will also be part of the Direct Line Group board starting March 21.

Meanwhile, Fosun, which holds a minority stake in Ageas, is also reportedly considering a selling of its shares to alleviate its debt burden.

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