Axa sells health broker to Ardonagh owners

M&A news

Axa will sell its health broker, Health Insurance Group, to the private equity owners of Ardonagh.

Madison Dearborn Partners and Highbridge Principal Strategies, will acquire the broker through their joint entity Nevada. MDP and HPS are the majority shareholders of the Ardonagh Group.

The sale, for an undisclosed sum, follows a wave of divestments of insurer-owned brokers, started by Axa’s sale of Bluefin to Marsh last year.

The Financial Conduct Authority fined Axa £4m in December for failing to have adequate controls in Bluefin, to prevent a conflict of interest arising from its ownership.

Axa said it had decided to sell its intermediaries that offered advised sales.

“As part of Axa’s strategy in the UK, we have concluded that whole of market intermediaries that offer advised sales are best placed within businesses focussed on distribution, and this transaction will allow the Health Insurance Group to form part of a portfolio of leading broking businesses,” said Keith Gibbs, CEO of Axa PPP Healthcare.

A spokesperson for Ardonagh confirmed the broker would not be part of the Ardonagh Group.

Matthew Raino, managing director of MDP, said: “As an award-winning independent health insurance and wellbeing broker with a strong track record of growth, THIG will be an ideal addition to our growing portfolio of UK insurance assets.”

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