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Record number of UK insurance transactions in 2023: MarshBerry


There were a record 148 announced M&A transactions in the U.K. insurance distribution sector in 2023, according to a report Tuesday from Woodmere, Ohio-based broker advisory company and mergers and acquisitions specialist for MarshBerry Inc.

This represented a 35% increase from the 110 transactions reported in 2022.

Overall deal value, however, fell by 8% to £3.9 billion ($4.93 billion), the report said, while the average deal size also declined. There were eight deals of more than £100 million in value in 2023, compared with seven in 2022, according to report data.

The report noted an increased participation from outside the U.K., especially the U.S. “More than a quarter of all UK sector deals involved a U.S. buyer in 2023,” the report said.

Valuation levels, meanwhile, are supported by the increased competition. “Headline valuation levels broadly maintained …  Competition for targets is supporting valuations,” the report said.

Pricing should remain strong but not rise, MarshBerry said.

“Deal pricing should remain robust but is unlikely to go any higher as demand for assets will continue to support valuations,” the report said, adding, however, that there are “Too many risks and headwinds for prices to move much higher,” including debt costs, rating backdrop and staff costs.