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APRIL International Buys IPMI Specialist Expat & Co in Belgium

In this iPMI Global Insights article, iPMI report author, Ian Youngman looks at a recent deal between APRIL International and IPMI Specialist Expat & Co in Belgium.

Ian Youngman is a writer and researcher specialising in insurance. He writes regularly for a variety of magazines, newsletters, and on-line services. He publishes a range of market reports, and undertakes research for companies. To read his latest report, International Health Insurance 2023, please click here, or visit the REPORTS section of iPMI Global.

News

  • APRIL Group, a leading wholesale insurance broker, has bought Expat & Co, a specialist in international health insurance in Belgium.
  • Expat & Co is the leading independent MGA of insurance for expatriates in Belgium and offers a platform of solutions to support its customers made up of universities, individuals and companies, including multinationals based in several European countries.
  • Present in Brussels since 2018 with APRIL Belgium, which works closely with a network of several hundred brokers and leading insurance partners to design, distribute and manage provident solutions, APRIL Group is strengthening its position in the Benelux region.
  • Expat & Co's management will continue and accelerate the company's development with the ambition of offering solutions to its distributors and policyholders.
  • Expat & Co will benefit from APRIL International’s expertise in Europe plus telemedicine and healthcare networks.
  • Expat & Co will also draw on APRIL's technological and service base to simplify its customers' international healthcare experience.
  • APRIL has 15,000 partner brokers and 2,400 employees.
  • The APRIL Group operates in 18 countries and recorded turnover of €590m in 2022.
  • Expat & Co is only in Belgium, offering IPMI for expats, Europeans, foreign students, au-pairs, long-term foreigners (welfare workers) and digital nomads.
  • It offers special cover for European Union civil servants and other officials.
  • Owner and CEO Filip Declercq set it up in 1996.
  • The office is in Ternat which is a municipality in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant.
  • The majority stake in APRIL is held by KKR.
  • APRIL is the leading wholesale broker in France and a key international player.
  • The group designs, manages and distributes insurance solutions and assistance services for private individuals, professionals and businesses, covering including PMI and IPMI.
  • April Group has six million policyholders worldwide, consisting of some 86 different nationalities located in 180 countries.  
  • APRIL International Care has 130,000 customers worldwide and 1500 business customers.

Analysis

  • April Belgium specialises in life and protection insurance for individuals and companies but does not offer PMI or IPMI locally.
  • This fills a country gap.
  • Through this acquisition, APRIL International strengthens its presence on the European continent in a high-potential market for expatriation and international mobility and enhances its portfolio of solutions and health products.
  • IPMI is one of APRIL Group's main markets with international health insurance solutions worldwide to expatriate communities from offices and management centres in America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
  • Belgium is a market with great potential, with an ecosystem of European and global organisations and companies. 
  • APRIL has set itself apart through an increasingly service-based range, to offer access to high-quality healthcare at a reasonable cost worldwide.
  • IPMI is a key business globally for the group.
  • KKR bought April last year and has massive, funded expansion plans.

What Next?

  • In the short term the buy will be run alone, but the future is probably integrating it into April Belgium.
  • April plans to expand IPMI business by double by the end of 2027.
  • It seeks to buy other national and global brokers in France and elsewhere.
  • It will launch April On platform in early 2024 and the Easy Claim service in 2025.
  • The strategy is to refocus the business on five key markets, health and personal protection for individuals, professionals and VSEs, loan insurance, international health and niche property & casualty insurance.
  • APRIL plans to withdraw from non-core markets at home and abroad.
  • The group continues to refocus on brokerage, its core business, through its Intent to partially or totally withdraw from some activities (in France and abroad) such as travel and assistance, certain risk carrying activities, third party management in group insurance and certain direct distribution channels.
  • APRIL is committed to in-depth transformation and expanding the multi-brand aspect of the distribution model while continuing to focus on key businesses.
  • The plan is to be more than a distributor as APRIL aims to become the preferred partner for insurers and brokers to work together in a simple and effective way.
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