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Insurance agency deals total 110 in first four months of 2014: Analysis

Insurance agency deals total 110 in first four months of 2014: Analysis

There were 110 announced insurance agency merger and acquisitions transactions in the United States and Canada during the first four months of 2014, according to an analysis released Monday by Optis Partners L.L.C.

According to “Insurance Agency M&A Update,” that number represented “the strongest showing of any comparable period since before 2008,” with the nearest challenger being 2011 when there were 101 announced transactions during the January-April period.

“Coming off the record year in 2012 and the re-grouping that took place during the first half of 2013, M&A activity currently appears to be continuing its vibrant activity level of the latter part of 2013,” said Chicago-based Optis in its report.

Privately held buyers and private equity-backed firms accounted for almost 80% of the activity on the buyers' side, Optis said. Publicly held buyers accounted for about another 15% of the transactions. The remainder of transactions involved banks, insurance companies and others.

“While it's still early, and certainly 2012 experienced a significant number of transactions late in the year as everyone tried to beat the tax-change deadline, 2014 could equal the 2012 record-setting year if the marketplace continues to perform for the balance of the year as it has through April,” said Optis in its analysis. “Buyers continue to be hungry and aggressive for deals, and the robust inventory of sellers will likely equal another active M&A year.”