Fortegra Financial Corp., which is backed by Summit Partners, has acquired a majority stake in Digital Leash, which does business as ProtectCell. The deal closed Dec. 31. Financial terms were not announced. Novi, Mich.-based ProtectCell provides wireless device protection plans and mobile services sold to consumers. News of the deal was announced by Quarton Partners, which advised ProtectCell.
Quarton Partners is pleased to announce that Digital Leash L.L.C. d/b/a ProtectCELL has completed an equity recapitalization with Fortegra Financial Corporation (“Fortegra”), a portfolio company of Summit Partners. The co-founders and existing shareholders of ProtectCELL will retain a significant minority stake in ProtectCELL and will continue to manage the business under Fortegra’s ownership. Quarton Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to ProtectCELL in this transaction, which closed on December 31, 2012.
“We are excited about the possibilities that are now at hand for ProtectCELL,” said Rob Emery, Co-Founder of ProtectCELL. “The synergies between our cultures and companies are a great fit that will provide us the opportunity to expand our coverage to all types of electronic devices and broaden our offerings in the warranty and insurance space, while continuing to offer our existing membership plans.”
“We are extremely excited to make this investment in ProtectCELL. Their leadership team has created a strong platform, broad distribution and an exciting menu of products and services for consumers. ProtectCELL adds scale to our growing warranty and service contract business,” said Richard Kahlbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of Fortegra. “The addition of ProtectCELL is squarely within Fortegra’s growth strategy of expanding our warranty and service contract offerings and we expect ProtectCELL to enhance our growth initiatives and drive shareholder value over the long term.”
ProtectCELL, founded in 2006, is a rapidly-growing provider of wireless device protection plans and mobile services sold to consumers across thousands of wireless retail locations nationwide. ProtectCELL’s protection plans cover standard mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices. ProtectCELL is one of the few companies in its served market offering additional benefits beyond traditional device replacement, including mobile security and identity theft protection. In 2012, ProtectCELL was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Fortegra Financial Corporation (NYSE: FRF) is an insurance services company that provides distribution and administration services and insurance-related products to insurance companies, insurance brokers and agents and other financial services companies in the United States. Fortegra’s brands include: Life of the South, Consecta, Bliss & Glennon (B&G), eReinsure (eRe), Motor Clubs, Pacific Benefits Group (PBG), Universal Equipment Recovery Group (UERG), and South Bay Acceptance Corporation (SBAC).
Summit Partners is a growth equity firm that invests in rapidly growing companies. Founded in 1984, Summit has raised more than $14 billion in capital and provides equity and credit for growth, recapitalizations, and management buyouts. Summit has invested in more than 340 companies across a range of industries. These companies have completed more than 125 public offerings, and in excess of 130 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Summit Partners has offices in Boston, Palo Alto, London, and Mumbai.
Quarton Partners, headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan, is a premier middle market investment banking firm, serving privately held and publicly traded companies, as well as private equity firms. Quarton Partners assists its clients with mergers and acquisitions, private capital raising, and other financial advisory services. Its principals have successfully completed hundreds of engagements in a wide variety of industries across the U.S. and throughout the world.