Hellman & Friedman puts SSP on the block

Rothschild is advising, one of the people told sister website peHUB. It is unclear how much Hellman & Friedman is seeking for SSP.

Hellman & Friedman, which is fundraising, acquired SSP in September 2008 for roughly $400 million. Hellman invested 111.2 million pounds of equity (US$180.6 million), according to the firm’s acquisition proposal from that time.

SSP, of Halifax, U.K., has more than 700 employees and provides insurance technology services in more than 50 countries across the U.K., continental Europe, the Asia-Pacific, Africa and the United States, according to the company’s website. Customers include 1,000 insurance brokers and 160 insurers. In July 2013, SSP said recurring revenues for the 12 months ended March 31 increased by roughly 2 percent to 56 million pounds, while EBITDA rose 1.8 percent to 18.2 million pounds.

“SSP has been a challenge for Hellman,” said one buyout executive with knowledge of the situation. “The company hasn’t really grown.”

Hellman & Friedman targets sectors such as financial services, healthcare, energy and industrials, as well as insurance. The buyout shop typically provides $300 million to $1 billion equity per deal. The firm’s investment in SSP came from its sixth fund, which raised $8.4 billion in 2007.

The San Francisco buyout shop is currently out fundraising for its eighth pool, which has an $8.9 billion target but is expected to hit its $10.25 billion hard cap, peHUB has reported. The firm’s seventh fund, meanwhile, closed on $8.8 billion in 2009.

Fund VI is generating a 12.4 percent net IRR as of March 31 and a 1.7x investment multiple, according to performance data from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Hellman’s seventh fund is producing an 8.5 percent net IRR and 1.1x investment multiple, CalPERS said.

Executives at Hellman & Friedman declined comment. SSP did not respond to requests for comment. Rothschild could not be reached.

Luisa Beltran is a senior writer for peHUB.