Direct Group has completed a major debt refinancing to provide further funding for the group’s market consolidation strategy.
The facilities, arranged by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Acquisition Finance, will enable Direct Group to capitalise on acquisition opportunities across the sector as well as fund its organic growth plans. As part of the refinancing, Direct Group – which employs 230 people – has also moved its banking relationship to Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets.
Last year, Direct Group, which was backed by private equity company LDC in 2007, completed its maiden acquisition of Millennium Insurance, a Midlands provider of general insurance solutions to the mortgage broker and IFA market. In January this year, it took over the claims handling and administration business of MetLife’s UK protection arm as part of a five year deal, followed in April by the transfer of Nexus and Travel Protection Services – the claims administration businesses within Longhawk Group, previously UK Underwriting.
The company’s offering now includes market-leading products and services across the general insurance market, including product development, sales and premium collection, policy administration, claims management, reporting and performance management.
Derek Coles, chief executive of Direct Group, said: “Our clients are looking to partner with organisations that can support an increasingly broad range of requirements across their personal and commercial lines and across an increasingly complex set of distribution channels and platforms, while delivering consistently high service standards and real innovation.
“Since the original management buyout, our strategy has been to deepen our offering to the market, by enhancing and investing in our own service proposition and through the acquisition of complementary businesses. This is paying dividends, with the group reporting a strong pipeline and trading performance in the year to date.”