Funds advised by Apax acquire PIB Group from The Carlyle Group

Funds advised by Apax Partners have acquired the PIB Group (PIB), a leading independent specialist insurance intermediary, alongside PIB’s management team. 

Funds advised by The Carlyle Group, PIB’s existing investor since 2015, will re-invest for a minority stake. The financial terms of the transaction (which is subject to applicable regulatory approvals) have not been disclosed. 
 
PIB’s executive management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Brendan McManus and Chief Financial Officer Ryan Brown, will continue to lead the business following the acquisition.
 
Launched in 2015, PIB has grown significantly during Carlyle’s ownership, both organically and through acquisitions. Today it is a highly diversified insurance distribution consolidator focusing on specialist commercial lines and non-standard personal lines products with deep expertise across both direct and B2B distribution through its broking, underwriting and network divisions. Since launch, PIB Group income has risen from nil to approximately £175m on a pro-forma basis in 2020. The company employs over 2000 employees in the UK, Channel Islands, Ireland, Germany, Poland and India. PIB recently acquired Barbon Insurance Group (its 35th acquisition) and also further strengthened its European presence through the acquisitions of WDB in Poland and Marx Re-Insurance in Germany.
 
The acquisition by the Apax Funds will help PIB continue its impressive growth trajectory, both organically and through accelerating strategic M&A to continue its domestic and international expansion. The Apax Funds have significant experience investing in the insurance sector and helping companies consolidate large, fragmented markets, including Assured Partners, Genex and Hub International, which were successfully exited in 2019, 2018 and 2013 respectively.
 
Brendan McManus, CEO of PIB, says: “I’m delighted that PIB has been acquired by the Apax Funds. This is a significant milestone in our history and thanks to support from The Carlyle Group since our formation, we have built a strong and attractive business. With further investment and the significant experience that Apax will offer, we look forward to continuing our ambitious growth plans both in the UK and internationally while putting our customers and colleagues at the forefront of everything that we do. We look forward to our continued success with both Apax and Carlyle as partners.”
 
John Redett, Managing Director at The Carlyle Group, says: “Five years ago we backed Brendan and his management team to become a major consolidator of insurance distribution businesses. We are thrilled in what we have achieved together. Through a significant M&A programme and investment in the company’s systems and talent, the business has delivered remarkable growth. We believe there continues to be opportunities for PIB to grow and are delighted to remain involved and continue the journey.”
 
Ashish Karandikar, Partner at Apax Partners, says: “We see a strong investment case for the specialist commercial insurance broking market and PIB stood out as a leading player in this space. The company has grown at an impressive rate, has an excellent track record of accretive M&A deals, including international acquisitions into fragmented markets and holds a leading position as one of the largest independent corporate brokers in the UK. We look forward to working with the team, and all PIB’s customers and clients as we continue to build on the company’s great success to date, using Apax’s significant experience in the sector to drive transformation and growth.”
 
PIB’s achievements have been recognised in the 2020 Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 of Britain's fastest growing companies, as well as the Sunday Times PwC Top Track 250 of Britain’s leading mid-market private companies.
 
Linklaters are serving as legal counsel to PIB and The Carlyle Group, and Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal counsel to Apax. KBW is serving as financial advisor to PIB and The Carlyle Group in connection with the transaction and Jamieson Corporate Finance and Dickson Minto has been advising the management team.
 

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