[London, UK and Toronto, Canada] BGL Group, a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), today announced the signing of an agreement which will see CPPIB invest c.£675 million for a 30% stake in BGL Group. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.
BHL, the current owner of BGL Group, will retain a majority shareholding in the business, and the investment is expected to be completed by the end of April 2018 subject to satisfaction of the closing conditions. CPPIB will nominate a non-executive director to represent it on the board of BGL. As a result of this investment, BGL Group will not be pursuing an IPO at this time.
BGL Group is a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, which owns brands including comparethemarket.com, LesFurets.com and online life insurer BeagleStreet.com. For the year ending 30 June 2017, BGL reported 14% underlying revenue growth to £585 million, and 19% growth in underlying profit before tax to £126 million. Total customers increased to over 8.5 million. To date, the business has seen growth at a similar rate in this financial year.
Peter Winslow, Chairman of BGL Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome CPPIB as an investor. During the course of our IPO preparations, our shareholder BHL received a number of approaches from different kinds of investors, as BGL represents a unique growth opportunity in UK financial services. A competitive process followed and our view was that CPPIB was the best partner for BGL. It is a hugely respected and experienced global institution, with a long-term ethos and track record of supporting growth. Building BGL Group and its brands into some of the most well known in the UK and France has created significant value for our stakeholders, and this investment reflects confidence in our continued success.”
Ryan Selwood, Managing Director & Head of Direct Private Equity, CPPIB, said: “Through this investment in BGL Group, CPPIB will participate in the continued growth of a leading financial technology business serving the UK consumer insurance distribution market, which provides greater transparency and choice to consumers. We are very pleased to create this partnership with BHL in a dynamic, high-growth sector to support the success of BGL’s iconic brands, including comparethemarket.com, which will further diversify our portfolio. This investment alongside a world class, aligned partner in BHL is a great example of our Private Equity Solutions strategy, where we provide capital solutions at scale to families, like-minded investors, corporations, funds and entrepreneurs, to pursue sizeable investments with an option to hold long term, ultimately delivering strong risk-adjusted returns to CPP contributors and beneficiaries.”
Matthew Donaldson, Chief Executive of BGL Group, said: “This investment is a clear vote of confidence in our performance and potential. We have a long-term growth strategy which builds on our market-leading core capabilities of data, digital and marketing. We will continue to operate in our current markets, innovating to ensure we continue to offer the best products for our customers, but we will also focus on developing and launching new ventures. My executive team and I are looking forward to working with our new partner to drive the next exciting stage of our growth.”
BGL Group: Caroline Raines, Associate Director, External Communications
Telephone: 07891 639333
Finsbury (For BGL Group): James Bradley / Alastair Elwen
Telephone: 020 7251 3801
N M Rothschild & Sons Limited (“Rothschild”): Christopher Kaladeen, lead adviser to BHL and BGL
Telephone: 020 7280 1866
CPPIB: Mei Mavin, Director, Global Corporate Communications
Telephone: +44 0 203 205 3406