Agencyport

Private equity firm Apax Partners LLP is acquiring Agencyport, a software provider to the property and casualty insurance industry, while it forms a previously announced insurance software joint venture with Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The closing on the Agencyport deal and the formation of the joint venture, Duck Creek Technologies, are expected by the end of August. Duck Creek Technologies is also the name of the Accenture company that is being used to form the new venture, with London-based Apax acquiring 60 percent and Accenture retaining 40 percent. Duck Creek, based in Bolivar, Missouri, offers both on-premises and cloud-based property and casualty insurance software and services.

Agencyport provides secure digital channels for collaboration between insurers, agents, brokers and customers. The company’s AgencyPortal product is used by more than 150,000 independent agents and 70 carriers. According to Apax, combining Agencyport with Duck Creek’s digital platform will enable insurance carriers to conduct business with their agents, brokers and customers through any digital device. The Duck Creek joint venture is expected to invest in Agencyport products and provide independent offerings to support any policy, claims or billing system. Integrated Duck Creek and Agencyport products will also offer cloud-based options.  Curt Stevenson, Agencyport’s CEO, will join the Duck Creek management team.

Jason Wright, a partner at Apax, says that combining Agencyport’s front-end portals for carriers, agents, brokers and customers with Duck Creek’s software, and digital and cloud technologies “creates a unique market opportunity to meaningfully accelerate digital insurance.”Apax invests in technology, telecommunications, services, health care and consumer companies, including more than $2.5 billion in the software sector since 2008.

Other recent software deals have included technology PE firm Siris Capital Group LLC agreeing in May to buy Xura Inc. (Nasdaq: MESG), maker of cloud-based software for messaging and voicemails. Also in May, Genstar Capital acquired Accruent, provider of software for site management and asset management.

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