Regulator launches inquiry into Ardonagh's deal with Markerstudy

March 26 set as tentative date for CMA decision

Regulator launches inquiry into Ardonagh's deal with Markerstudy

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has launched a merger inquiry into the deal between The Ardonagh Group and Markerstudy Group.

First announced last September, the proposed transaction involves Ardonagh’s personal lines broking business Atlanta Group. The plan is to merge Atlanta with Markerstudy to create a “major new player” in the UK insurance market.

If approved, the deal will see Markerstudy parent Venus Topco Limited acquire Atlanta. Venus Topco is part of Pollen Street Capital, which in 2021 led a £200 million investment into Markerstudy.

In its commencement notice this week, the CMA said: “The Competition and Markets Authority hereby gives notice pursuant to section 96(2A) of the Enterprise Act 2002 that the merger notice provided by Venus Topco Limited, a subsidiary of Pollen Street Plc, Atlanta Investment Holdings 3 Limited, a subsidiary of Nevada Investments Topco Limited, and Tara TopCo Limited, in relation to: a) the anticipated acquisition by Venus of the entire issued share capital of Atlanta. Both Atlanta and Nevada are wholly owned subsidiaries of Ardonagh Group Holdings Limited; and b) the anticipated acquisition by Tara (via Ardonagh Rocket Investments Holding Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tara held outside of the Ardonagh group) of an interest in Venus and Saturn Holdings Limited meets the requirements of section 96(2) of the Act.”

The tentative deadline for the competition watchdog to announce its decision whether to refer the merger for further investigation is on March 26.

In 2020, a deal between Ardonagh and Bennetts Motorcycling Services had to be reversed following a CMA probe.           

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