Wilmington Group plc to acquire Axco Insurance Information Services for upto £22 million

Wilmington Group plc is to acquire Axco Insurance Information Services Limited, the leading provider of international compliance and regulatory information for the global insurance industry.

AXCO provides comprehensive information on the markets, regulation and taxation environment for the insurance industry within 165 countries worldwide. AXCO’s customers include international insurers, reinsurers and brokers with a particular strength in North America. The business is based in London and employs 40 staff. 96% of AXCO’s customers are subscribers to products delivered electronically. Their renewal rate in recent years has been in excess of 95%.

The acquisition of AXCO has been effected by Wilmington’s wholly owned subsidiary Waterlow Legal & Regulatory Limited which has acquired 100% of the fully diluted share capital for an initial cash consideration of £21.325m and a deferred payment, capped at £675k, which will be calculated by reference to the net current assets of AXCO at 30th September 2010. Wilmington will fund the consideration from existing debt facilities. AXCO is expected to have approximately £2m of net cash at completion. The transaction is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

During the year ended 31 December 2009, the period of the latest audited accounts, AXCO made statutory profits before interest and tax of £1.23m on turnover of £5.6m. Pro forma unaudited revenues and EBITDA for the twelve months to 30 June 2010 were £5.8m and £1.93m respectively. At 31 December 2009 AXCO had gross assets of £5.34m.

Charles Brady, CEO of Wilmington, commented, “AXCO is an information business of the highest quality and a clear international market leader. It provides its customers with ‘must have’ intelligence and has demonstrated an ability to maintain continued growth irrespective of the challenging environment in recent years. It is highly complementary to Pendragon, our pensions law and regulation information business, as well as to the compliance and regulatory training divisions within Wilmington. This acquisition is the latest step in our plan to build a world class, international, compliance and regulatory information and training business. We are confident of AXCO achieving enhanced growth within Wilmington.”

UK, London

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