French insurer AXA has agreed to sell its whole of market intermediary Health and Protection Solutions in the UK to US private equity firms Highbridge Principal Strategies (HPS) and Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP).

Health and Protection Solutions, which trades as The Health Insurance Group, will be acquired by the private equity firms into a jointly owned entity named Nevada Investments Topco.

The Health Insurance Group operates as a whole of market healthcare broker and offers health and wellbeing solutions to individuals and businesses.

AXA PPP healthcare CEO Keith Gibbs said: “The Health Insurance Group joined AXA in 2008 and, in the past ten years, has formed a strong part of our business.

“However, as part of AXA’s strategy in the UK, we have concluded that whole of market intermediaries who offer advised sales are best placed within businesses focussed on distribution, and this transaction will allow The Health Insurance Group to form part of a portfolio of leading broking businesses. We look forward to continuing to work closely with The Health Insurance Group to provide AXA PPP solutions for their customers.”

The deal is slated to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

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MDP managing director Matthew Raino said: “We can confirm we are currently finalising the purchase of The Health Insurance Group from AXA. As an award-winning independent health insurance and wellbeing broker with a strong track record of growth, The Health Insurance Group will be an ideal addition to our growing portfolio of UK insurance assets.”