Markerstudy promises to meet deadline as multi-million loan payment looms

raining-money

Company must pay more than £108.6m to Qatar Re on 1 December and owes more than £240m in total.

Markerstudy Insurance Services (MIS) will meet its first loan repayment deadline on 1 December, Insurance Age can reveal.

A spokesperson for parent company Markerstudy Group told Insurance Age: “We will repay on time”.

MIS currently owes £217.3m, plus interest, to Qatar Re after the backer chose not to reinvest in the business. The total figure is expected to exceed £240m once interest is accounted for. 

Half of the debt (£108.6m), plus interest, is due for repayment on 1 December and the remainder must be settled by the end of March 2020.

Qatar Re had been a long-term financing partner for Markerstudy Group. In January 2018, it bought the Group’s Gibraltarian businesses for £107.8m, acquiring Markerstudy Insurance, Zenith Insurance, St Julians Insurance and Ultimate Insurance.

Backing
RMS, the company’s auditor, cast doubt on MIS’s ability to trade as a going concern when auditing its financial statements for 2018, published last month.

Auditors commented that MIS “will rely on the ongoing support of the parent company to continue to trade and meet its liabilities as they fall due”.

Today (27 November), a spokesperson for Markerstudy Group was unable to confirm whether MIS had found new financial backing or whether the parent company has had to step in to ensure the loan is repaid on time.

As part of the financial results reported in October, directors at the Group stated they were actively seeking new investors in MIS and asserted their confidence in securing new backing.

However, they also conceded that selling parts of Markerstudy Group was on the table as a potential solution.

Brokers
Brokers were puzzled by the company’s financing difficulties when surveyed by Insurance Age.

MIS was discussed as a profitable business that should have not faced problems in finding a new backer.

Markerstudy Group’s £185m deal to purchase the Co-op’s underwriting business, announced in January 2019, was highlighted as a possible source of hesitation amongst capital providers.

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