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BGL Group acquires French price comparison sites
Immediate release: 25 November 2010
The BGL Group today acquired the French insurance price comparison company, Courtanet.
Founded in 2005 by CEO Jehan de Castet, Courtanet initially offered price comparison services to independent insurance brokers and gained contracts with around half of that market. In 2009, it launched assuremieux.com, a consumer price comparison service for car, health, loan, home and motorbike insurance. In 2010, Courtanet launched creditmieux.com, a price comparison service for consumer loans. The company is Paris based, with 17 staff. BGL and Courtanet's founder now own the company.
Peter Winslow, Chief Executive of the BGL Group, said: "We believe that the French general insurance market offers considerable opportunities. It's a similar size to the UK. Broadband internet penetration is also at similar levels to the UK, yet the French market has been slower to embrace the research and purchase of insurance online. But there are signs that this is changing, as insurers invest in better online systems.
"Both internet purchase activity and the revenues of aggregators in France are reminiscent of the UK market in 2005. Of course, no investment is without risk, but we are confident that we will be entering the market during a period of rapid growth."
Jehan de Castet, Chief Executive of Courtanet, said: "We believe that French consumers should benefit from impartial comparison in order to better choose their insurance products and save substantial amounts every year. French consumers are ready to embrace comparison as a new way to research and buy insurance thanks to the strong growth of insurance online. We are delighted that our knowhow, as evidenced in the latest ranking by "La Tribune" in 2010, has raised interest from a leading UK insurance group. The BGL Group has unique expertise and Courtanet's customers and partners will benefit greatly from our alliance."
Courtanet will continue to operate as a standalone business, under the governance of the BGL Group Board. Jehan de Castet will report to BGL Group Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Donaldson.