Canadian Underwriter

Navacord builds up war chest to finance future M&A

April 6, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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Navacord has built up a sizeable war chest to fund future mergers and acquisitions.

The Toronto-based group of brokerages recently completed $1.05 billion in financing, a portion of which is to be used to take advantage of unspecified “M&A opportunities,” the brokerage announced Mar. 30.

“Navacord will use the proceeds from new first and second lien term loans to replace its previous term loan and other debt,” Navacord said in a release. “Additionally, Navacord plans to use the proceeds to fund near-term M&A opportunities and other strategic growth activities and return capital to its employee shareholders.”

Navacord was founded in 2014 by Jones DesLauriers Insurance Management Inc. and Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers.

Separately, on Apr. 6, Navacord announced it has added Toronto-based LL Renaissance as a partner, effective Apr. 1.

Typically, Navacord brokerage partners buy into Navacord, with Navacord taking a majority interest in the brokerages.

On Mar. 1, Navacord announced it added GNK Insurance Services Inc., which has one location each in Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C. GNK had its start in the early 1930s when Locke & Ree Insurance started the business in downtown Vancouver. GNK Insurance Services Inc. was formed in 1999 combining the businesses of Locke & Ree Insurance and Gerwing North & Kerr.

In 2020, Navacord expanded into Atlantic Canada by forming a partnership with Cooke Insurance Group, a commercial brokerage with four offices in New Brunswick (Moncton, Saint John, Rexton and Fredericton), two in Nova Scotia (Halifax and Sydney), and three in Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown, Summerside and Alberton).

At the time of its deal with Cooke, Navacord also announced partnerships with Toronto-based Hull Group, Edmonton-based Blanket Insurance, and Regina-based Smiths’ Insurance.

Other Navacord broker partners include:

  • Calgary-based Toole Peet, which places home, auto and commercial insurance
  • Iridium Risk Services, a Calgary-based risk consultancy
  • Petrela, Winter & Associates, a Toronto-based surety bond provider with offices in London, Ont., and Laval, Que.
  • Toronto-based Partners Indemnity Insurance Brokers, which places personal and commercial lines
  • Wylie-Crump, a Vancouver-based provider of surety bonds and insurance for the construction industry
  • Whitley Insurance & Financial Services Inc., a Belleville, Ont., brokerage that has offices in Trenton, Deseronto, and Stirling
  • Paisley Manor Insurance Group of Toronto, which places insurance for realty, construction, retail chains, educational and charitable organizations.

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