Jelf Group PLC acquires share capital of Libra Insurance Services Limited

Posted: 7th August 2015 08:29

Jelf, an independent consultancy which provides a broad range of insurance, financial services and employee benefit services to corporates and individuals, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Libra Insurance Services Limited ("Libra"), a general insurance broker based in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

The purchase price, which is undisclosed, is within the valuation range of recent Jelf deals and the structure of the deal is consistent with recent acquisitions. A significant proportion of the purchase price has been deferred, with its payment contingent upon the delivery of an agreed increase in the EBITDA of Libra; and the directors who are remaining with the business have given undertakings to use a significant portion of the initial and deferred consideration to purchase Jelf shares.

The acquisition is in line with the Jelf strategy of growth through organic initiatives and selected acquisitions.  

The acquisition will be funded by an existing loan facility with Barclays, with no requirement for additional financing.

 Acquisition Highlights

 · Libra, established in 1974, has over 40 years of experience in serving its local community.

· The two businesses are culturally aligned and share a strong commitment to delivering excellent client service and      high quality professional advice. Jelf was awarded the highest "3 Star" award by Investor in Customers in 2014 and the  Libra team is committed to these same standards.

· All the employees, including both of the active directors of Libra who have built the business since the early 1980's,  are remaining with the business. They are incentivised to drive the business forward and will work alongside Jelf's  experienced integration team.

· This acquisition builds upon Jelf's established office network in the South East, adding to the circle of offices around  the M25.

· Libra's strength is in the SME commercial insurance sector, which has long been an area of strength and expertise for  Jelf, and where Jelf is able to offer a superior, differentiated proposition to its clients. 

· The acquisition provides an opportunity to drive future profitability through revenue synergies.  In particular the  similarity in the client profile and product mix between Libra and Jelf enables Jelf to capitalise on superior commercial  terms with strategic insurance partners.

· The FCA has granted approval for the change of control.

Further information on Libra Insurance Services Limited

Founded in 1974 by the late Harakhchand L Shah, Libra Insurance Services has been owned and managed by the Shah family ever since.

Today, the business is run by the two sons of Mr Shah, Raaxeet (Rex) K H H Shah and Shailain H H Shah.  The business has grown steadily under their management, and incorporated six acquisitions into its offices in Bushey in the last 15 years.  

The company now places c £6.5m GWP per annum, specialising in commercial risks and property, primarily in the SME sector.

In the year ended 30 September 2014 Libra achieved revenue of approximately £1.3 million which resulted in adjusted EBITDA of approximately £0.3 million, and profit before tax of approximately £0.2m. 

Alex Alway, Group CE of Jelf, said:
"I am delighted to welcome the Libra team to Jelf.  The Libra business has a long and successful history in the local community, and we are privileged that Rex and Shailain have decided to continue to do so as part of Jelf. Community broking is right at the heart of both Libra and Jelf, and we share a passion for exceeding client expectations.

This is another important acquisition for Jelf; with our proven integration model, we are confident that it will be profitable for the Group - adding further weight to an ever growing track record for successful acquisitions."

Raaxeet (Rex) K H H Shah & Shailain H H Shah, Directors, Libra commented that:
"Libra has been in our family for over 40 years, so selling was never going to be an easy decision.  However, right from the start of our discussions, we have been convinced that Jelf will enable Libra to continue to grow whilst preserving the heritage and personal service that is so important to us and our business.  We are excited to be able to provide a wider product range for our clients, and enhanced career prospects for our staff.  We are looking forward to working with our new colleagues in Jelf."

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