Equistone to sell its majority stake in A-Plan Insurance to HgCapital

HgCapital has agreed to buy a majority stake in A-Plan Insurance from Equistone. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in the UK, A-Plan is an insurance broker.


Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces it has entered into an agreement to sell its majority holding in A-Plan Insurance, a UK based, independent insurance broker to HgCapital.
Founded in 1963, Oxfordshire based A-Plan provides products from a wide range of insurers, including SME commercial, motor and home, and high net worth insurance. The Company currently operates 73 branches nationwide, and serves over 580,000 policyholders.

Since Equistone backed the management team in a primary buyout in 2008, the company has realised strong growth, increasing revenues from £44m in 2008 to around £73m for the financial year ending February 2015. During its investment period, Equistone worked alongside A-Plan’s management team to develop the business, opening 19 new branches and increasing headcount by 380 to over 970 employees.

Andrew Land, Partner at HgCapital commented:
“We are delighted to be backing Carl and his team in this transaction and will endeavour to support the business as it continues to pursue its growth strategy. With its high levels of recurring revenue and customer retention, alongside impressive customer advocacy, we have been hugely impressed by the quality of A-Plan’s service offering; we see great potential in further developing its branch network and specialist lines. Insurance distribution has been a key area of sector focus for us, and we believe we have invested in a true industry champion through this transaction.”

Carl Shuker, Chief Executive Officer at A-Plan, said:
“We have enjoyed considerable growth over the last six years, with new branch openings and the development of specialist insurance lines. We have really appreciated our partnership with Equistone, who have been proactively supportive of our growth and investment objectives.

“We are very excited about the next chapter in A-Plan’s growth and look forward to working with HgCapital as we continue to expand our national footprint and embark on the next phase of delivering A-Plan’s leading levels of service to a larger number of clients. On a day to day basis, it’s very much business as usual for our clients, staff and insurer partners.”

Andrew Backen, Partner at Equistone Partners Europe, said:
“We are proud to have been partners with A-Plan since 2008, when we identified a unique insurance distributor with significant growth potential. We have relished working alongside an experienced and entrepreneurial management team, to support them in successfully driving the growth of the business and further differentiating it from its peers, despite the competitive market conditions of recent years. With a loyal and growing customer base, longstanding insurance relationships and a good brand, A-Plan is well positioned to continue its growth under new ownership. We wish Carl and his team every success in the future.”

Completion of the transaction remains subject to FCA approval.

Advisors to HgCapital on the transaction included:
KPMG Corporate Finance, Ashcombe Advisers & IMAS (M&A and debt)
Linklaters (legal)
OC&C (commercial due diligence)
Deloitte (financial due diligence)

About HgCapital
HgCapital is a sector expert private equity investor, supporting management teams to grow industry champions. Deeply resourced sector teams focus on specific sub-sectors and investment themes to identify companies occupying an established market position, and which have the potential to grow faster than their market, create employment and become the leader in their industry. HgCapital’s dedicated portfolio management team provides practical support to management teams to help them realise their growth ambitions. HgCapital invests in expanding segments of the TMT, Services, Industrials and Renewable Energy sectors across Western Europe.
Based in London and Munich, HgCapital manages over £5 billion for some of the world’s leading institutional and private investors. For

further details, please see www.hgcapital.com.