Insurer Admiral eyes law firm takeover - paper

LONDON Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:52am EST

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LONDON Jan 27 (Reuters) - British insurer Admiral plans to buy law firm Lyons Davidson to limit the financial impact of a ban on lawyers paying for accident victims' contact details, the Mail on Sunday reported, citing an unnamed source.

Admiral makes about 7 pounds ($11.06) a year for each car it covers by selling the details of customers involved in accidents to lawyers, more than some rivals.

Buying a law firm would allow Admiral to share in the profit generated through legal claims, offsetting a decline in revenue once a government ban on so-called personal injury referral fees comes into force in April.

Admiral and Lyons Davidson are close to an agreement, the Mail on Sunday reported an unnamed source as saying, adding that it was not clear how any deal would be structured.

Admiral declined to comment. Lyons Davidson could not be reached.

Shares in Admiral, which covers one in ten cars on Britain's roads and also owns price comparison side, closed at 12.21 pounds ($19.30) on Friday, valuing the company at about 3.3 billion pounds.

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