Howden Group has signed a definitive share sale and purchase agreement to buy a majority stake in Italy’s Assiteca for around €208.7m ($231.65m).

As agreed, Howden will acquire 86.965% of the outstanding share capital of Italian broker Assiteca.

This includes purchasing 62.505% of Assiteca’s share capital from Lucca’s and the remaining 24.460% from Chaise.

With a headcount of 750, Assiteca has operations in 19 Italian cities. It is also present in Spain and Switzerland and has a brokerage commission turnover of nearly €90m.

Howden noted that the deal complements its existing Italian broking business and will bolster its position in the market.

As per the agreement, Assiteca’s founder Luciano Lucca will continue as the chairman of the board of directors, Gabriele Giacoma will keep operating as CEO, and Nicola Girelli will remain finance director.

Howden Broking Group CEO José Manuel González said: “Assiteca is already a key partner of our wider Group in Italy through our sister company DUAL Italia, and so we know well that Luciano and Gabriele have built a team which shares an outlook with Howden; one to deliver quality service and solutions to our clients, with a personal touch driven by core employee ownership.”

Assiteca founder and chairman of the board of directors Luciano Lucca said: “The combination of Assiteca and Howden represents a very important change for insurance broking business. Actually, it will create a new international giant in Italy, which will contribute a significant value and dynamism in the market.”

The deal is expected to close around May 2022, subject to several conditions.

British insurance broker Howden has been focused on expanding its European operations, with a particular focus on Italy.

Recently, Howden acquired Tower to bolster its Italian position.