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M&A activity up through Q3, led by Hub: MarshBerry


Mergers and acquisitions among U.S. insurance brokers and agencies kept up a “furious pace” through the third quarter of 2019, with 451 announced transactions year-to-date through Sept. 30, surpassing the deal counts of 429 in 2018 and 418 in 2017, according to a report by MarshBerry Capital Inc. released Wednesday.

Demand remains “incredibly high” and there are no apparent warning signals of a slowdown in the short term, the analyst advisory firm based in Woodmere, Ohio, said in the report.

Chicago-based Hub International Ltd. was the most acquisitive buyer year-to-date in 2019, with 28 announced transactions, representing 6.2% of total deals through the third quarter, MarshBerry said in the report.

Columbus, Ohio-based BroadStreet Partners Inc. reported the second-highest number of deals at 26, while Lake Mary, Florida-based AssuredPartners Inc. reported 25 deals.

Caledonia, Michigan-based Acrisure LLC and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based Patriot Growth Insurance Services LLC each reported 24 deals, while Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. was the highest-ranked public company buyer with 22 deals.

Deal values saw another increase through the third quarter and the average transaction price continues to climb with a total potential deal value of 11.56 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, MarshBerry said.

This represents a 6.5% increase compared with year-end 2018, the report said.

“There are numerous additional deals slated to close in Q4 2019 that have valuations that may top these trailing values. We are in a hot market,” Phil Trem, president at MarshBerry, said in the report.





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