Ardonagh Group to buy Dutch insurance broker Léons

Dublin-headquartered company has expanded into Europe over the past couple of years

Dublin-based insurance intermediary Ardonagh Europe has agreed to acquire Dutch brokerage Léons Group subject to regulatory approval.

The company, the Irish subsidiary of the UK’s largest independent brokerage Ardonagh Group, said in a statement on Monday that the deal will increase its European footprint. It will also strengthen the Irish company’s connection to Brokerslink, a global network of brokers of which Léons is a founding member and shareholder, the company said.

Léons Group specialises in full-service insurance solutions to corporate clients and, the company said, works in complex cases and international operations. The broker, owned by the Léons family who will retain a stake after the acquisition, will continue “to operate independently as part of Ardonagh Europe under the direct leadership of Sunny and Nico Léons”, Ardonagh said.

“We are excited to welcome Léons to Ardonagh, together building on their Dutch roots and solid reputation in the market to build a portfolio of brands and insurance broker companies that are leaders in their target markets,” said Ardonagh Europe chief executive Conor Brennan.

Ardonagh Group chief executive David Ross said bringing the “leading independent Dutch firm into the group continues our meaningful global investment and further strengthens our relationship with members of Brokerslink”.

“With independence core to our own success, this is a testament to the respect we have for this network, and the strength and quality of its membership,” he said.

With its headquarters in Dublin, Ardonagh Europe is the European division of the private equity-backed Ardonagh Group, which in 2020 bought Irish broker Arachas Corporate Brokers for €250 million.

Arachas had itself been one of the most active dealmakers in the Irish brokerage market in what has been a period of unprecedented consolidation over the past four years or so, closing deals for a host of companies including sports and events specialist O’Driscoll O’Neil, Waterford-based Hooper Dolan and Stuart Insurances.

More recently, Ardonagh Europe has been gearing up to move into new European markets, appointing a managing director for Italy to assist with its planned expansion there latest this year. Last December, Ardonagh Group also acquired Portuguese company MDS Group, which is also a founding member of and shareholder in Brokerslink.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times