Hastings Direct receives takeover approach

The insurance company which trades under Hastings Direct has been approached about a takeover that could put a price tag of at least £1.3 billion on the business.

Friday, 31st July 2020, 11:15 am
Hastings Direct. Picture: Google Street View SUS-190726-163509001

Hastings Group Holdings, based in Collington Avenue, Bexhill, confirmed it was in discussions with its largest shareholder Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI), based in South Africa, and Sampo, a Finnish insurer.

The two have made a joint approach about a possible cash offer, the insurance company confirmed.

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.

Hastings said, following this approach, it has established an independent committee, excluding Herman Bosman, and the RMI representative to consider the approach and a possible cash offer.

“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made,” the company said in a statement.

Under City rules, RMI and Sampo have until 5pm on August 26 to either make a firm offer or announce it does not intend to make an offer. An extension could be granted with the consent of Hastings and the takeover panel.

According to The Times, shares in Hastings rose by 18 per cent to 200.5p to value the company at more than £1.3 billion.

A spokesman for Hastings Direct said they were unable to comment further at this stage.