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Sonae and IPLF Holding have reached an agreement with The Ardonagh Group to sell MDS Group

Sonae and IPLF Holding have reached an agreement with The Ardonagh Group to sell MDS Group
The acquisition by UK’s largest independent broker group of MDS Group allows to take an important strategic step in the company’s path, aiming to further strengthen its national and international footprint. 

Sonae and IPLF Holding have entered an agreement with The Ardonagh Group, the UK’s largest independent broker group, for the acquisition of 100% of MDS Group’s share capital. This operation, that proves the value of this asset developed from scratch at Sonae, enables MDS to take an important strategic step in the company’s path, aiming to further strengthen its national and international presence in the areas of insurance brokerage and risk management advisory. 

The MDS Group had been consolidating its national and international presence through a solid organic growth strategy, combined with several selective acquisitions, which have granted the Group its current dimension and quality. The Group is a market leader in Portugal, holding high-ranking leadership positions in Brazil and Africa, namely in Angola and Mozambique, while also performing at a global scale through the Brokerslink network – founded in 2004 by the Group, currently present in over 120 countries worldwide. 

The Ardonagh Group, among the world’s 20 largest insurance broker groups, has revenues surpassing 1.5 billion dollars and employs about 8,000 people at its 100+ offices. Upon conclusion of the announced operation, which is subject to regulatory approval, they will become the sole shareholder of the MDS Group, through its subsidiary Ardonagh Global Partners. 

MDS Group’s current management and leadership team will remain in the business, equipped with new resources and capital, proceeding with both the organic and the inorganic growth plans, which will translate in clear benefits to its main stakeholders – employees, clients, partners and insurance companies.  

"After a long and successful partnership, Sonae and IPLF Holding agreed to the terms of this transaction with The Ardonagh Group, which will enable MDS Group and its experienced management team to further accelerate its growth plan and geographic footprint by partnering with a leading European insurance broker with a strong track-record and experience in this sector. The deal is fully aligned with Sonae’s active portfolio management strategy, capitalizing on an attractive transaction to drive shareholder value”, announced by an official source at Sonae. 

For José Manuel Fonseca, CEO of the MDS Group, this operation represents an extraordinary opportunity, "Having considered our future very carefully, we saw in The Ardonagh Group and its leadership a perfect match for our vision and growth ambitions. We are incredibly excited to be joining forces with a global independent group with Ardonagh’s scale and dynamic culture. With access to Ardonagh’s considerable resource and capital, we look forward to accelerating our organic and inorganic growth plans.” 

Des O’Connor, CEO of Ardonagh Global Partners, refers that, "It is a great privilege to partner with a distinguished and high-profile broking platform such as MDS. Jose Manuel together with his experienced and high calibre management team have developed a world class reputation for client service, innovation and professionalism, delivering outstanding service to their clients for over 30 years. MDS will continue taking full advantage of the fast growing and evolving markets where it operates, namely in Portugal, Spain, Brazil e Africa. The business is ideally placed to support a broad range of clients to protect against a constantly changing risk environment, and to bring on board other culturally and strategically aligned independent brokers in the geographies in which it operates.” 

David Ross, CEO of Ardonagh Group, added, "We launched Ardonagh Global Partners at the start of the year to offer a home for businesses and management teams across the globe which want to plug into our commercial capabilities and resources, whilst maintaining the client service and culture that made them successful in the first place. We welcome José Manuel Fonseca and his global colleagues as an embodiment of just that and look forward to helping bring more products, connectivity and buying power to their clients.” 

José Manuel Fonseca concluded, "Nowadays, MDS is a benchmark multinational group in risk and insurance consulting, which only became possible thanks to the unconditional support of its shareholding groups Sonae and IPLF Holding. Together we have innovated and created value for every stakeholder, promoting the importance and the relevance of insurance and risk management. We will continue to do so in the future, cooperating as we have done so far, for we have established relationships with our clients that will remain long-term.” 

This operation is expected to be completed during the first half of 2022. 

About The Ardonagh Group 
The Ardonagh Group is the UK's largest independent insurance distribution platform and a top 20 broker globally. We are a collection of best-in-class entrepreneurial and specialist brands with a network of more than 100 locations and a combined workforce of more than 8,000 people. Through our portfolio, we offer a highly diversified range of products and services related with insurance, across the entire business chain, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and international markets. From complex multinational groups to individuals seeking to acquire personal insurance, our knowledge of the communities we serve, combined with our scale and scope, allows us to work with our insurer partners in order to provide a wide range of solutions of products and risks that fulfil the needs of our clients.  

About MDS 
MDS is a Portuguese multinational group operating in insurance brokerage, reinsurance and risk consulting, present in more than 120 countries. It is a market leader in Portugal, one of the major players in Brazil and Angola, and is directly present in Mozambique, Spain, Malta and Switzerland. Through Brokerslink, a global brokerage network founded by the group, integrating around 21,000 brokers professionals, MDS fulfils its clients’ needs across the most diverse geographies and sectors. 
The group also integrates MDS RE, a specialist consulting company in reinsurance providing services in Europe, America and Africa; as well as RCG - Risk Consulting Group, a reference in risk analysis, loss control, business continuity plan and enterprise risk management. Through HighDome, a Protected Cell Company (PCC), MDS offers alternative risk transfer solutions to the traditional insurance market. Moreover, MDS also operates in the field of benefits management and flexible benefits, through the 838 Soluções and Ben’s companies in Brazil and Flexben in Portugal.  

About Sonae 
Sonae is a multinational company managing a diversified portfolio of businesses in retail, financial services, technology, shopping centres and telecommunications. Present in around 70 countries, it reached a turnover of 6.8 billion euros in 2020. Find out more at 

About IPLF Holding 
IPLF Holding is a Brazilian company with over 50 years of experience in investments in different sectors. 

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