Inchcape poised for acquisition

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The Independent Online
INCHCAPE, the international trading and financial services group, is believed to be on the point of announcing a new acquisition in Europe to flesh out the network of its insurance broking subsidiary Bain Clarkson, writes Peter Rodgers.

The move will be part of Inchcape's strategy of building strategic stakes in broking abroad. Among recent moves, the group recently announced a new French partnership, Cetar, and has a joint venture with the US brokers American Business Insurance.

Bain Clarkson produced about pounds 15m of Inchcape's pre-tax profit of pounds 185m in 1991.

International business and UK retail income is thought in the City to have stood up well to the recession last year, so insurance broking profits in 1992 are likely to have at least held steady. This is despite difficulties in reinsurance markets.

Suggestions over the weekend that income at Bain Clarkson has collapsed by three-quarters were not being taken seriously. Bain Clarkson has said its strategy is to develop links in all the main world insurance markets.

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