Private equity firm Apax Partners is buying insurance brokerage AssuredPartners Inc. from Chicago private equity firm GTCR.
AssuredPartners, headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, is a property and casualty insurer with locations in more than 30 states, plus Washington, D.C., and London. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
New York-based Apax has made several other financial services investments, including insurance business and serial acquirer Hub International Ltd., which it sold to PE firm Hellman & Friedman for $4.4 billion in 2013. The firm has advised funds with more than $40 billion in capital commitments.
Since 2011, when GTCR bought it, AssuredPartners completed 101 purchases. In February, the business acquired Amtech Insurance Brokers, a New York commercial insurance and risk-management group. Before that, in December, AssuredPartners picked up Sheehan Insurance Group, and also in December, bought Baronsmead Partners.
AssuredPartners' founders, Jim Henderson (CEO) and Tom Riley (COO), will continue to lead the business. GTCR partnered with Henderson and Riley in 2011 to create the company, which was originally named Assured Agencies. At the time, GTCR said it planned to invest up to $250 million in equity capital from its tenth fund (which had $3.25 billion) to support the business.
The creation of AssuredPartners is consistent with GTCR's the Leaders Strategy, which won the firm Mergers & Acquisitions M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year Award for 2013. Under the approach, GTCR partners with sector leaders to form and build businesses. Other examples of the strategy include the firm's work with Doug Bergeron, a financial technology executive, for payments business VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY), which it took public in 2005, and then again for fintech operation Opus Global Holdings LLC.
The AssuredPartners deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. provided new debt financing. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as Apax's legal counsel, and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as GTCR and AssuredPartners' financial adviser. Barclays and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC also provided financial advice to the sellers, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel.
The insurance industry has been consolidating for years. Hub International, for example, continues buying up smaller brokerages, adding Laubacher Insurance Agency Inc. in March. For more on the trend, see Insurance Firms Find Bigger May Be Better.