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Zurich to purchase remaining shares of Endsleigh

Switzerland-based Zurich Financial Services has entered into an agreement which entitles the insurance firm to acquire the remaining shares of UK insurance intermediary group Endsleigh.

In 2002, the Swiss insurer first acquired a 45% stake in Endsleigh and will now purchase the remaining shares currently held under the management team, as well as the shareholdings of the National Union of Students (NUS).

The purchase is in line with Zurich’s current strategy to strengthen and refine its distribution capabilities. The acquisition will improve access to the younger customer base, as students make up a large faction of Endsleigh’s customers. This focus will generate new opportunities for profitable growth in the personal line segment. The NUS represents 5.3 million students. In recognition of the strategic importance of this market to Endsleigh, the NUS will retain two seats on the board.

With a business turnover of GBP60 million, Endsleigh has exceeded its goals in the past and we expect it to generate excellent results in the future, commented Guy Munnoch, Zurich’s UK general insurance CEO designate. The acquisition of Endsleigh supports Zurich’s multi-distribution strategy and we are excited about the opportunities for profitable growth that this deal offers. It also demonstrates Zurich’s commitment to and strong belief in the long-term future of the intermediary channel in the UK.

Zurich will continue with its management team while Endsleigh will continue to operate as an independent intermediary.

The transaction is expected to close in January 2007.