IMAS acted as the sole financial adviser to MS Amlin Corporate Services (“MS Amlin”) on the sale of specialist boat insurance provider Haven Knox-Johnston (“Haven”) to Aston Lark Group (“Aston Lark”).
Haven Knox-Johnston is a leading specialist provider of marine pleasure craft insurance, with products covering a breadth of watercraft ranging from yachts and motorboats to canal boats, RIBS and small commercial craft. Haven has operated as a division of international insurer MS Amlin for several years, most recently trading as MS Amlin Boat Insurance and boatinsure.
IMAS was retained by MS Amlin in 2019 to advise the group on its strategic options for the Haven business, including a potential sale. In September 2019, MS Amlin made a strategy announcement wherein it publicly identified nine business areas that were no longer deemed core to the group, of which Haven was one. This led to a very large number of enquiries about the business that had to be managed.Aston Lark is one of the UK’s largest independent Chartered Insurance Brokers, with expertise across a range of commercial sectors and an award-wining private client division. The group places over £440 million of premium annually and has over 1,000 staff in 35 regional locations. Since 2019 it has been backed by the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs.
IMAS oversaw a comprehensive sale process which explored the interest of a wide selection of possible acquirers, including insurers, MGAs and brokers, to find a buyer that offered both a compelling fit with Haven and the commitment and expertise to conclude a separation and transfer of the business. Aston Lark intends to relaunch the business using the historic Haven Knox-Johnston brand, with MS Amlin continuing to provide underwriting support. The completion of the transaction is expected to take place in early 2021.