UK-based supermarket chain Co-operative Group has signed an agreement to offload its insurance underwriting business CIS General Insurance to motor insurer, Markerstudy, for £185m.

The retailer has also signed an agreement with Markerstudy to distribute motor and home insurance products for a period of 13 years.

Co-op said that it will focus on offering wide range of insurance products through its distribution business Co-op Insurance Services. It will also develop new products and continue to work with its existing partners.

Co-op deputy CEO Pippa Wicks said: “Markerstudy have shown a clear willingness to partner with us, and to develop a compelling range of products which will increase our insurance footprint and extend our Co-op difference.

“The Co-op has a long and distinguished history in providing insurance for its members and I’m delighted that this will continue through our partnership with Markerstudy.”

Markerstudy Group CEO Kevin Spencer said: “Our roots are firmly in the UK insurance industry, where we provide cover to more than 1.5 million customers, and offer value and choice, coupled with award-winning service.

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“Our purchase of the Co-op’s insurance underwriting business and the arrangement to provide insurance products to its members is testimony to our robust business model and investment in our people and technology.”

Pending receipt of PRA and FCA approval, the transaction is scheduled to complete during the second quarter of this year.

On the transaction, Co-op has been served by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Allen & Overy as financial adviser and principal legal advisers, respectively. HFW acted as legal advisers for Markerstudy.