Oakley Capital Investments Limited has acquired a majority stake in Facile. Founded in 2008, the business is an Italian car insurance broker and price comparison website.
Oakley Capital Investments Limited (AIM: OCL; “Oakley Capital”), the AIM-listed company established to provide investors with access to the investment strategy being pursued by Oakley Capital Private Equity L.P. (“Fund I”) and its successor fund, OCPE II Master L.P. (“Fund II”), is pleased to announce the acquisition by Fund II of a majority stake in Facile.it S.p.A. (“Facile”), Italy’s largest car insurance broker and price comparison website. Fund II will invest alongside Facile’s founders who will re-invest part of their proceeds.
Founded in 2008, Facile has built a leading market position in the fast growing Italian online price comparison market. Originally established to provide consumers with access to the best car insurance premiums, Facile has subsequently built a diversified range of products to broaden its revenue base including gas and electricity, broadband internet services, bank accounts and mobile phones. It now helps 1.5 million Italians a month compare prices on key elements of their household expenditure.
The business has demonstrated a strong growth trajectory and had revenues of €28.6 million and EBITDA of €4.7 million for the year ended 31 December 2013 (up from €19.3 million and €0.4 million respectively in 2012). The Company’s contribution to the equity investment, through its interest in Fund II, is €27 million.
At €20 billion, Italy has one of Europe’s largest car insurance markets by value, but has been late to develop online with only 10% of premia currently purchased online. By contrast, around 80% of the UK’s €21 billion market is purchased online, implying substantial growth potential as the Italian market develops. With Oakley Capital’s support, Facile is well-positioned to benefit from this market trend and take advantage of increasing market switching rates for all of its product verticals, while also helping to raise consumer awareness of switching through marketing and increasing brand trust.
Peter Dubens, Oakley Capital Limited (Investment Advisor to Fund II), said: “Italian consumers are beginning to recognise the value of using online price comparison sites to save money on their household bills and insurance premiums. As a trusted and recognisable brand name, with a diversified product range, Facile is well positioned to capitalise on the growing market opportunities. We are excited to be backing Mauro Giacobbe and his excellent management team, alongside our new co-shareholders, the founders of Facile.
With this acquisition, we are able to benefit from the sector experience we have gained through Fund I’s earlier investment in Verivox, Germany’s leading consumer energy and telecommunications price comparison website. Facile is the fourth investment by Oakley Capital’s second fund.”