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CPPIB to buy 30% stake in BGL Group for GBP675m

IBR Staff Writer Published 24 November 2017

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has signed a £675m agreement to acquire a 30% stake in BGL Group, a digital distributor of insurance and financial services.

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in April 2018.

BGL Group’s brands include Comparethemarket.com, LesFurets.com and online life insurer BeagleStreet.com.

Under the agreement, CPPIB will nominate a non-executive director to represent it on the BGL board.

BHL, the existing owner of BGL Group, will retain a majority interest in the business.

CPPIB managing director and direct private equity head Ryan Selwood said: “Through this investment in BGL Group, CPPIB will participate in the continued growth of a leading financial technology business serving the UK consumer insurance distribution market, which provides greater transparency and choice to consumers.

He continued: “This investment alongside a world class, aligned partner in BHL is a great example of our Private Equity Solutions strategy, where we provide capital solutions at scale to families, like-minded investors, corporations, funds and entrepreneurs, to pursue sizeable investments with an option to hold long term, ultimately delivering strong risk-adjusted returns to CPP contributors and beneficiaries.”

CPPIB stated that the partnership with BHL in a high-growth sector to support can further diversify its investment portfolio.

BGL reported 14% underlying revenue growth to £585m, and 19% growth in underlying profit before tax to £126m for the year ending 30 June 2017. Total customers increased to more than 8.5 million. 

BGL Group CEO Matthew Donaldson said: “This investment is a clear vote of confidence in our performance and potential. We have a long-term growth strategy which builds on our market-leading core capabilities of data, digital and marketing.

“We will continue to operate in our current markets, innovating to ensure we continue to offer the best products for our customers, but we will also focus on developing and launching new ventures.”


Image: CPPIB to acquire 30% stake in BGL Group. Photo: Courtesy of Chaiwat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.