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Marsh Purchases 15% Stake in Czech Company Insia

Posted on 13 Apr 2011

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Broker Marsh has purchased a 15 percent equity stake in Czech and Slovak insurance company Insia in a bid by both companies to grow their market position at the expense of rivals.

Marsh and Insia announced the step on Tuesday in Prague, declining to disclose the price of the transaction. They also said they will form a strategic partnership on the local Czech and Slovak markets.

“This is an ideal fit. We are looking at the combination of two different segments of the market,” Richard Radford, Marsh’s general manager for Central and Eastern Europe, told Czech Position. He added that the minority stake in Insia was Marsh’s first acquisition in the region for years. ‘We are looking at the combination of two different segments of the market.’

Marsh, which traces its origin to 1871, is one of the world’s largest insurance brokers. Local customers include retailer Tesco, food producer Hamé, steelmaker ArcelorMittal and high-voltage electricity network operator CEPS.

Insia was founded in 1992 by two students, Petr Marek and Ivan Špirakus. They will hold onto their 85 percent stake in the company, which has specialized in providing insurance brokerage  for small and medium-sized enterprizes. It grows through franchising its operations and expects to have around 1,400 partners, mainly  in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, by the end of the year.