Motorcycle insurance merger to be reversed following CMA concerns
The CMA has accepted a proposal from Ardonagh to fully unwind its recent £26m purchase of Bennetts to resolve competition concerns.
Ardonagh Group Limited (Ardonagh), which operates the Carole Nash and Swinton brands, completed the purchase of Bennetts Motorcycling Services Limited (Bennetts) in August 2020.
Following an initial Phase 1 investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was concerned that the merger of Ardonagh and Bennetts, which are the 2 leading distributors of motorcycle insurance to private customers in the UK, could result in a worse deal for customers.
In order to address these concerns, Ardonagh has now offered to sell Bennetts – effectively reversing the deal completely.
The CMA has accepted that this offer should, in principle, be capable of remedying the competition concerns it has identified and will now consider the detailed aspects of the proposed remedy. If the proposed remedy is accepted, Ardonagh would have a fixed period of time to sell Bennetts to a purchaser approved by the CMA.
The CMA has an initial deadline of 25 November 2020 to take its final decision on whether to accept the proposed remedy and will consult publicly on the detailed aspects of the offer in the coming weeks.