Hastings is a UK-based non-life insurance company with a focus on motor insurance

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Sampo, RMI launch talks for a proposed takeover of Hastings.(Credit: Free-Photos from Pixabay)

Finland-based Sampo and Rand Merchant Investment Group (RMI Group) have entered into talks with Hastings Group to take 100% ownership of the UK-based insurance company.

The parties are exploring a possible cash offer to buy the issued and to be issued share capital of the British insurer that are not already owned or controlled by Sampo and RMI Group.

Currently, RMI Group, which is a South African financial services investment holding firm, has a 29.7% stake in Hastings, which is a non-life insurance company with a focus on motor insurance.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, the British non-life insurer has a market capitalisation of around £1.1bn. Hastings, which was founded in 2016, is said to cater to nearly 2.85 million customers and has a workforce of around 3,300 employees.

Hastings operates two separate businesses

The British insurer has two separate businesses, a retail business operating as Hastings Insurance Services and an underwriting business, which operates as Advantage Insurance.

Last year, the British insurer reported gross written premiums of £962m.

Sampo said that it continuously explores various strategic options for speeding up its growth and for diversifying its earnings profile.

The potential deal is said to help the Finnish firm in further expanding its business into non-life insurance in which it claims to have vast experience and expertise.

The company stated: “As part of this strategy and considering Sampo’s already strong market positions in the Nordic markets, Sampo has been considering a geographic expansion beyond its current footprint.

“Sampo believes that a potential acquisition of Hastings may represent an attractive opportunity in the non-life insurance market to accelerate this strategy.”

The Finnish insurance company said that there can be no assurance that any firm offer will be issued nor as to the terms on which any firm offer could be made.

On the other hand, Hastings said that it has set up an independent committee of the board, made up of the full board of the company barring Herman Bosman, the RMI representative, for consider the takeover proposal and possible cash offer.