Ardonagh becomes major player in Australian insurance market with acquisition of PSC Insurance Group

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In a significant industry shake up, Ardonagh Group, a leading global insurance broking platform, has acquired PSC Insurance Group Ltd for A$2.3 billion (US$1.5 billion). This move cements Ardonagh’s position as a dominant player in the Australian insurance market. PSC, a major Australian owned multinational insurance services group, will merge its Australia and New Zealand operations with Ardonagh’s Envest platform, creating one of the largest privately owned insurance distribution networks in Australia. This acquisition highlights Ardonagh’s strategic expansion and commitment to strengthening its global presence.

The Ardonagh Group, one of the world’s largest independent insurance broking platforms, has struck a deal to acquire PSC Insurance Group Ltd in a landmark deal valued at A$2.3 billion (US$1.5 billion).

PSC is an Australian-owned multinational insurance services group that operates brokerage businesses and underwriting agencies under more than 40 trading brands, primarily in Australia, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

Before becoming a publicly listed company in December 2015, PSC was Australia’s largest privately owned risk management and insurance broking intermediary.

PSC announced on March 13th that it had received multiple strategic approaches and was working with Goldman Sachs to find a buyer.  According to industry reports, Marsh – the world's largest insurance brokerage – showed strong interest in the opportunity. Other prominent industry players, such as Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) and Steadfast, also looked into the acquisition of PSC; however, they were reportedly discouraged by the high asking price.

On May 8th, PSC issued a statement that it had entered a scheme of arrangement-structured buyout deal with Ardonagh.

Founded in 2017, Ardonagh has quickly grown into a top 20 international broker, with over 10,000 people in 30 countries managing more than USD$15 billion (A$23 billion) in premium volume.

The acquisition of PSC is one of several that Ardonagh has made in Australia in recent years. Ardonagh made its first acquisition in Australia in February 2021 with the purchase of Resilium Insurance Broking. It later acquired Brisbane-headquartered Envest in February 2023 and merged both businesses into the Envest platform.

They also own Price Forbes, a major independent insurance broker in London; MDS Group, a leading broker and risk management adviser across Portugal and Latin America; and Arachas, one of the largest insurance brokers in Ireland.

In a strategic move, Ardonagh plans to merge PSC’s Australia and New Zealand operations with Envest; a move that would make Ardonagh one of Australia’s largest privately owned insurance distribution platforms, with a combined A$3.3 billion in annual gross written premium.

Ardonagh Group CEO David Ross says the acquisition is a significant milestone in the company’s global growth and underlines its strong commitment to the markets it serves.

“PSC’s journey and values align with our own, and its portfolio of highly complementary businesses provides an abundance of opportunities to strengthen our positions in Australia, as well as in wholesale and specialty markets,” he said.

Ardonagh’s purchase of PSC could be one of the largest the local broking sector has ever seen and will undoubtedly significantly impact the industry landscape. It catapults Ardonagh into being one of the largest participants in the Australian market, poised to offer both scale and synergies with existing businesses.

Also read: Insurance market update.

 

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