Takeover puts Central Insurance in top ten brokerages

CENTRAL Insurance, the highly acquisitive Aberdeen-based firm, has broken into the rankings of the top-ten largest insurance brokerages in the UK after swooping on an Edinburgh-based rival.

Buying insurance brokerage Castle Cairn in a £2.3 million deal has pushed the total value of the premiums placed by Central up to £60m.

Castle Cairn, which was founded in 1978, writes about £5.5m of premiums and specialises in policies for high-net-worth individuals and for businesses in the fund management and oil and gas sectors.

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Iain Henry, managing director at Central, said: “Castle Cairn has built a strong business in the private client and specialist financial lines market and we think it’s a great fit for us as we look to grow into this sector and extend our reach in the Central Belt in our other key sectors.

“This deal increases our strength across the country and we’re looking forward to growing with the existing team at Castle Cairn under the Central Insurance brand.”

Central, which was founded in 1973 and now has 125 staff, financed the deal out of its cash and existing bank debt.

The acquisition is the second this year for Central, which took over Aberdeen-based peer Collins Halden & Burnett in May in a £2.6m deal.

The company also pushed into Glasgow in January when it opened a £1.2m office as part of its plans to expand into the construction, life sciences and tourism markets.

Abbreviated accounts filed at Companies House showed that the value of Castle Cairn’s total assets rose to £1.12m in the year to 30 September, 2010, up from £1.09m in the previous 12 months.

The shareholders are listed as company directors Alan Grant and James Sutherland, along with Charmaine Grant.

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