Chesnara goes Dutch for £57m deal

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LANCASHIRE financial services investment group Chesnara is planning to buy the Dutch Waard Group of insurance companies in a £57m deal.

Preston-based Chesnara, which last year acquired Direct Line’s closed book division for £39m, said the Waard companies were well capitalised and there was plenty of scope for consolidation in the Dutch market.

Chesnara is also raising around £35m in a share placing to help pay for the acquisition and will put in £20m from cash reserves. A further £2m will be paid if the business hits certain performance targets.

Meanwhile, the group said its chief executive Graham Kettleborough will step down at the end of the year, but will stay on as a consultant for a further three months.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Kettleborough said: “We are very excited to acquire an attractive business in the Dutch market. The Waard Group should generate attractive financial returns and also provide a platform with enough scale and operational knowledge to enable further acquisitions in the Dutch and continental European markets.

“The company looks forward to working with our new colleagues in the Netherlands with a view to optimising our financial returns and identifying and acquiring other businesses.”

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