Liberty Mutual Insurance Group has agreed to purchase Hughes Insurance in Northern Ireland, an independent insurance broker that offers motor, van, household, SME commercial insurance and travel insurance.
The acquisition, which is expected to conclude on 1 July 2015, will enable the US property and casualty insurer to expand its presence in Northern Irish market.
Liberty Mutual’s subsidiary in Ireland will become the lead underwriter of Hughes Insurance in Northern Ireland, upon completion of the deal. Additionally, Hughes Insurance will operate as a stand-alone business under its existing brand.
Newtownards headquartered Hughes Insurance, which distributes one in five motor insurance policies sold in Northern Ireland, earned £60m in gross written premium for the year ending 31 March 2014. It has a team of more than 300 people and manages 11 other branches across Northern Ireland.
After completion of the transaction, Hughes Insurance will continue to be headed by chief executive Gareth Brady and his current management team.
Hughes Insurance has selected Liberty Insurance, a fully owned subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, as its leading underwriter for new policies issued with effect from 1 July 2014.
Commenting on the acquisition, Liberty Insurance CEO Patrick O’Brien said: "We are pleased to confirm Liberty Mutual’s continued commitment to Ireland.
"I believe Liberty’s acquisition of Hughes and our appointment as lead underwriter will enable us to build a leading presence in the Northern Ireland market through Hughes’ established network."
Hughes Insurance CEO Gareth Brady stated: "This is a great development for both our customers and our employees, enabling us to grow our business further with the backing of one of the world’s leading insurers while maintaining our Northern Ireland identity."
All contact details remain the same for its customers, and they do not required to take any action as a result of this planned change of ownership, Hughes said.
Moreover, all existing polices will be valid and at renewal, existing customers will be offered competitive terms for cover underwritten by Liberty Insurance.
Liberty Mutual, a diversified global insurer with operations in 30 countries, had $121.2bn in consolidated assets, $102.2bn in consolidated liabilities, and $38.5bn in annual consolidated revenue, as of 31 December 2013.
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