Hastings Direct agrees to £1.66bn takeover

Insurance company Hastings Direct has agreed to a takeover, valuing the company at £1.66 billion.

Hastings Direct. Picture: Google Street View SUS-190726-163509001
Hastings Direct. Picture: Google Street View SUS-190726-163509001

Hastings Group Holdings, based in Collington Avenue, Bexhill, confirmed it has agreed to a cash offer from its largest shareholder Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI), based in South Africa, and Sampo, a Finnish insurer.

The two made a joint approach last week.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The offer would give 250 pence a share to Hastings’s investors, which values the company at £1.66 billion – higher than was expected when the takeover approach was announced last week.

It was not immediately clear how the takeover would affect members of staff employed in Bexhill, or elsewhere in the UK.

Following completion of the offer, Sampo and RMI will own and control 70 per cent and 30 per cent of the shares and votes in the jointly-owned company, respectively.

RMI already has a 29.7 per cent share of Hastings, which it invested in 2017. That investment gave the group a seat on the insurer’s board.

Thomas Colraine, chairman of Hastings, said: “I am pleased to announce the recommended cash offer for Hastings which represents a very attractive proposition for Hastings shareholders with a significant premium in cash.”

The offer still requires approval from regulators.