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Steadfast expands into the US with acquisition

Steadfast says it has acquired ISU Group, one of the largest privately owned independent insurance agency networks in the US, for $US55 million ($87 million).

CEO Robert Kelly says Steadfast has been investigating options to expand in the US over the last five years, with a more concerted effort over the last 18 months. first flagged the plans in March.

“We wanted to enter a long-term strategic partnership with an existing US Independent Agent Network to create distribution and a platform to implement our service offering,” he said today.

“I’m incredibly excited that our journey into the US has started with ISU. ISU is an excellent fit for us. They bring a stellar management team and existing scale, and we share complementary values with our people and clients. This was an essential consideration for us.”

The purchase will be funded from Steadfast’s existing corporate debt facilities and free cash flow and the transaction is expected to be earnings per share accretive from date of acquisition.

In a presentation, Steadfast says ISU Group is a successful business with a long history and growth track record and its experienced management team will remain post acquisition.

ISU network members are located across more than 40 US states with approximately 220 agency members, and contracts with 75 insurance carriers and wholesalers.

Steadfast had flagged an expected US transaction at its annual results briefing in August and said details were expected to be released by the October annual general meeting.

“Expansion into the US market will provide Steadfast with a compelling runway of opportunities to maximise growth and deliver our strategy and unique business model to the world’s largest insurance market,” Mr Kelly said today.

ISU Group CEO TJ Ryan says the company has taken a long-term view and is “highly confident this partnership with Steadfast will provide ISU’s independent agents with an even greater competitive edge in an ever-changing market”.