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Drayton Insurance Services sold to Ethos Broking

A leading independent East Anglian insurance broker has been acquired by Ethos Broking via its regional hub, the Norwich and Bury St Edmunds based Hugh J Boswell Group.

Drayton Insurance Services was established in 1997 by Susan Howard and Darren Walsgrove.

It grew through expansions and acquisitions to become one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the region, with offices in Drayton, Aylsham, Poringland and Ipswich.

The sale was handled by accountancy and advisory firm Larking Gowen alongside legal firm Howes Percival.

James Lay, Corporate Transactions and Business Advisory Partner at Larking Gowen, who led the sale, said: "Drayton is a well-established and reputable insurance firm. Sue and Darren have done a fantastic job in building a highly successful business which has become one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the region.

"It was a pleasure to support them through the process to a successful sale. This deal illustrates the demand we are seeing first-hand in the eastern region for quality businesses and the highly active marketplace for private business sales."

Will Gibbs, Corporate Transactions Senior Executive at Larking Gowen, added: "Acting as the main transaction adviser, it was great to support Susan and Darren throughout the entire process. Having prepared the business for sale, we reviewed the potential tax implications.

"We then approached a select shortlist of prospective buyers, negotiated the best deal, and assisted through due diligence to completion."

The Howes Percival team, led by Oliver Pritchard with support from Richard Turner and Helaina Mann, advised the shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company. Howes Percival’s role encompassed the entire legal transaction including helping to negotiate the heads of terms, due diligence support from specialists within the firm’s property, tax and employment teams, negotiating the detailed legal terms of the sale and overseeing completion.

Oliver Pritchard commented: “Following on from an incredibly busy first quarter in 2021, in which our corporate, commercial, and banking team completed 32 deals, with a combined value of £263 million, we continue to see an extremely high volume of transactions.

“There is strong demand from trade and institutional buyers for profitable, well-managed businesses. Drayton Insurance Services ticks all the boxes, with a great management team, a strong brand reputation and sustained profitable growth. We are delighted to have worked with the founders Sue and Darren, to help them achieve a successful sale of the business. Both intend to remain in the business following the sale, and I am sure it will go from strength to strength as part of the Hugh J Boswell Group.”



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