Insurance software vendor SSP buys rival Sirius

Insurance software vendor SSP buys rival Sirius

UK insurance software provider SSP Holdings has agreed a deal to takeover rival vendor Sirius Financial Solutions in a cash and share transaction worth £43.4 million.

Under the agreement Sirius shareholders will receive 178 pence in cash plus 0.4 new SSP shares for each share they already hold, valuing each Sirius share at 235 pence. The deal values Sirius at £43.4 million. SSP will partly fund the deal with a £5 million share placing.

The companies say the merger will create a UK market leader in insurance software and also provide a platform to expand internationally. Outside the UK
SSP currently has operations in Ireland, Denmark and South Africa, while Sirius's offices are in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, India and the US.

Commenting on the deal David Rasche, executive chairman of SSP, says: "As world insurance markets become more competitive, there is a shift towards an Internet and electronic trading model. Our combined presence and knowledge of this market will provide significant expansion opportunities.

"The combination of the businesses will also strengthen our 'consumer to carrier' proposition in the UK through additional products and market segments. This transaction should help improve efficiencies for insurance distribution and bring additional capabilities."

Following the merger Sirius chairman and group CEO Stephen Verrall will take over as the deputy chairman of the enlarged group while managing director Laurence Walker will take over as the group's chief executive. Rasche will continue as executive chairman.

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