Apax to make 3x its money with AssuredPartners sale

  • Apax VIII acquired AssuredPartners in 2015
  • Apax VIII closed on $7.5 bln in 2013
  • Apax IX is investing in AssuredPartners with GTCR

Apax Partners is hitting a triple with its sale of AssuredPartners.

Apax said Feb. 21 that it agreed to sell its entire stake in AssuredPartners to a group led by GTCR. Terms weren’t disclosed, but the transaction valued AssuredPartners at $5.1 billion including debt, Bloomberg said.

GTCR is partnering with Apax while other investors include two GTCR LPs, according to Aaron Cohen, a managing director.

AssuredPartners is the Lake Mary, Florida, distributor of property and casualty, risk management, employee benefits and personal insurance.

Like many insurance brokers, AssuredPartners is following a buy-and-build strategy. The company made several acquisitions in February including buys of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, Hardy Aviation Insurance and Francis Hall Insurance Services.

Apax acquired a majority of the company in October 2015 from GTCR. That transaction valued the company at about $1.7 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Apax used its first global fund, which closed on $7.5 billion 2013, to buy AssuredPartners. Apax VIII’s investment in the broker generated a 3x return on invested capital, a source familiar with the transaction said.

With AssuredPartners, GTCR is returning to a profitable investment. The Chicago buyout shop made about 4x its money when it sold its stake in AssuredPartners in 2015, the WSJ said.

GTCR is partnering with the same management team — Jim Henderson, co-founder and CEO, and Tom Riley, president and COO — that launched AssuredPartners in 2011.

“There’s nothing better than partnering with a team that you’ve made a ton of money with in the past and doing it again,” said Cohen, who co-led GTCR’s last investment in AssuredPartners with David Donnini, a managing director.

Apax is investing in the current deal but is using its second global fund, Apax IX, to take part. Apax IX collected $9 billion in 2016; it will have a minority of AssuredPartners.

Action Item: For more information, see AssuredPartners’ website here.