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Sampo announces interest in Hastings
Posted on Thursday, 30 July 2020 10:15
Sampo and Rand Merchant Investment Holdings have recently announced they are in discussions with Hastings Group Holdings regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the outstanding shares not owned or controlled by either business.

However, there can be no guarantee that any offer will be made or as to the terms of such plans.

Sampo is considering various strategic options to accelerate its growth and diversify its earnings profile and has a strategic ambition to further expand into non-life insurance, a sector where it has extensive experience and expertise.

A move would expand the group’s geographic footprint, which is strong in the Nordic markets.

Founded in 1986, Hastings is a UK-based non-life insurance company focused on cover for motor vehicles, serving 2.85 million customers and employing 3,300 people.

Shares in the business, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, rose 18.0 per cent to 200.60 pence yesterday, giving the group a market capitalisation of GBP 1.33 billion.

In the three months ended 31st March 2020, Hastings’ gross written premiums rose slightly to GBP 234.30 million, compared to GBP 235.50 million in the corresponding period of 2019.

Net revenue declined slightly to GBP 179.20 million in Q1 2020 (Q1 2019: GBP 183.10 million).

South Africa’s RMI Group has held a 29.7 per cent share in Hastings since 2017, making it the group’s biggest shareholder.

The target confirmed it has received an approach from the two companies expressing their interest.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 19 public takeovers of UK-based companies announced in 2020 to date.

Should the acquisition of Hastings be successful it would be the largest to target a listed group in the UK this year.

Currently the biggest deal involves Clayton Dubilier & Rice buying public relations group Huntsworth for GBP 524.00 million.

Sirius Minerals, Daejan Holdings, RockRose Energy and Cello Health, among others, have also been targeted in 2020 to date.

© Zephus Ltd