BC Partners has agreed to acquire a majority stake in UK-based Davies, a specialist professional services and technology business serving the global insurance market. No financial terms were disclosed. At the closing of the transaction, HGGC and Alberta Investment Management Corp, will retain significant minority stakes in Davies.
LONDON, UK – 16th March 2021: Funds advised by BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, have announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Davies, the leading specialist professional services and technology business serving the global insurance market. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Davies delivers professional services and technology solutions across the risk and insurance value chain, including claims, underwriting, distribution, regulation, customer experience, human capital, digital transformation and change management. It currently employs over 4,000 people supporting more than 800 clients around the world, and in recent years has expanded into new markets including Bermuda, Canada and the US. Through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions, the firm has increased its annual proforma revenues six-fold over the last 4-years, to more than £350 million and Davies has been recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing international businesses for two consecutive years.
This new partnership will diversify and strengthen Davies shareholder base, as it seeks to drive further global expansion, increase investment in technology and digital transformation, and to continue to partner with complementary businesses via M&A. Existing investors HGGC and AIMCo will continue to hold minority ownership stakes in the business, alongside the Davies leadership team and employees. BC Partners will also have representation on the Board.
Cédric Dubourdieu, Partner at BC Partners, said: “We at BC have been watching Davies’ progression over the past few years with keen interest, as this was a business we knew had serious potential. Over this period it has expanded geographically, successfully entering and establishing a presence in the US, Canadian and Bermudian markets, completed more than 30 acquisitions, diversified its service offering and cemented its position as a clear leader in its sector – all whilst upholding its reputation for providing excellent service to its customers.”
“We‘re very excited about the opportunity to work with Dan and the broader Davies team to build on this momentum, using our global network and sector expertise to support further growth through technology-enabled transformation and further penetration into the US and European markets.”
Dan Saulter, Group CEO of Davies said: “We are excited to welcome BC Partners as a majority investor as we embark on this next phase of international growth and technology investment. I am also pleased that both HGGC and AIMCo wish to continue to invest in Davies alongside BC Partners. I am proud of what the team has achieved, and this transaction will mean that our employee ownership programme, the Davies Incentive Plan, will pay out to eligible colleagues for a second time, reflecting the huge role they play every day in serving our 800+ insurance and highly regulated clients around the world.”
James Ridout, Director of AIMCo added: “It’s been great to partner with Dan and the team at Davies since 2019, during which time they have tripled the size of the business, added legal solutions to the platform, and launched claims solutions in the US. As long-term investors, on behalf of our clients, AIMCo is thrilled to be continuing to back the team, and we look forward to supporting the next phase of growth and digital transformation.”
John Block, Partner of HGGC added: “The amazing growth Davies has achieved since our initial investment in 2017 has been inspiring to see. Dan and the leadership team’s commitment to maintaining a culture of accountability and transparency with a focus on value creation provides a great foundation for continual business expansion. Following our partnership model, we look forward to an ongoing role in Davies’ success alongside BC Partners and AIMCo.”
The BC Funds were advised by Waller Helms Advisors and Macquarie Capital (financial advisers), Linklaters LLP (legal adviser) and PwC (commercial, financial and tax adviser).
Management were advised by Liberty Corporate Finance (financial advisers) and Osborne Clarke (legal advisers).
HGGC was advised by Kirkland & Ellis (legal advisors) and AIMCo was advised by Allen & Overy (legal advisors).
The transaction is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2021.
About BC Partners
BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over €33 billion of assets under management in private equity, private credit and real estate. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in Europe and North America.
Since inception, BC Partners Private Equity has completed 119 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of over €150 billion and is currently investing its eleventh private equity fund. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.
Davies is a multi-award winning specialist professional services and technology business. Davies delivers operations, consulting and technology solutions across the risk and insurance value chain, including excellence in claims, underwriting, distribution, regulation, customer experience, human capital, transformation & change management. Davies’ core service lines include: Claims Solutions, Legal Solutions, Insurance Services and Consulting & Technology. Davies has a 4,250 strong team of professionals across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada with headquarters in the City of London. Davies’ investors are HGGC, AIMCo (acting on behalf of certain of its clients), and Davies’ employees following HGGC’s majority investment in January 2017 and AIMCo’s minority investment in January 2019. Davies’ programme of digital transformation has seen it successfully launch a range of technology-led solutions in to its insurance and highly regulated markets, including the use of video, drones, robotics and its “Disruptive Thinking” innovation lab that places the power of new ideas in the hands of its people. Over recent years Davies has consistently delivered double-digit organic growth through a combination of growing its solutions with existing clients and adding new partnerships to its business. In September 2020 Davies was named in Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 as important mid-market contributor to the UK during the pandemic. In the past year Davies has added more than 150 new accounts to its organic platform. In addition Davies has successfully broadened and deepened its operations and digital capabilities via targeted acquisitions. Since the start of 2017 Davies has acquired: Cynergie, CMSL, Ambant, ServiceTick, TLSS, R&Q’s insurance services business, Ember, Direct Group’s claims businesses, Veriphy, USA Risk Group, TMS, GBB, Banwells, Frontier, FWD, ASC, Thornton Group, Keoghs, Codebase8, Citadel & Cedar Consulting, ContactParners, TriPlus, Johnson Claim Service, Vehicle Replacement Group, BMTS, Wakely Actuarial, Northshore International Insurance Services, DMS, Littleton Group and NPA 24:7. More information is available at www.davies-group.com.
HGGC is a leading middle-market private equity firm with over $5.4 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., HGGC is distinguished by its Advantaged Investing approach that enables the firm to source and acquire scalable businesses through partnerships with management teams, founders and sponsors who reinvest alongside HGGC, creating a strong alignment of interests. Since its inception in 2007, HGGC has completed more than 200 platform investments, add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of over $28 billion. More information, including a complete list of current and former portfolio companies, is available at www.hggc.com.
About Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”)
AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than C$120 billion of assets under management. AIMCo was established on January 1, 2008 with a mandate to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 33 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta. AIMCo’s head office is located in Edmonton, Alberta, with additional offices located in Toronto, London, and Luxembourg. AIMCo’s Private Equity team comprises a dedicated group of experienced investment professionals and manages a private equity allocation of approximately C$6.0 billion. More information is available at www.aimco.ca.