The A-Plan deal gave the Hyperion group a new presence in the regional broking market. Combining this with a newly expanded M&A war chest could pave the way for some exciting times ahead

By insight editor Matt Scott

Howden’s near £700m acquisition of A-Plan revealed the broking group’s intention of making serious moves into the regional broking market.

But now, the “significant long-term” equity investment from Hg has given Hyperion $1.5bn towards acquisitions and tech investment, and it would not be surprising to see a large chunk of that cash splashed on regional expansion.

When announcing the acquisition of A-Plan, Hyperion chief executive David Howden revealed he saw the broking business as a “stepping stone” to further growth, and this additional financing will only serve to add fuel to Hyperion’s acquisition engine.

Before the A-Plan deal Hyperion lacked any presence in the regional space, but Carl Shuker’s business gives them an intimate knowledge of that market, as well as the relationships with local brokers who may already be looking to sell.

Shuker himself said that A-Plan  is “a great home for local brokers looking to sell” and with Hyperion’s now expanded fire power a few more of those may be on their way to a new home.

It is also significant that Hg already has experience of the business, with the private equity firm the backers behind A-Plan prior to it being sold to Hyperion.

This means that the two businesses will already have that working relationship that normally takes time to evolve and take shape, and the businesses will likely already have their targets in mind when it comes to who to poach next in order to add further growth.

Both Hyperion and A-Plan have delivered fantastic organic growth in recent years, as can be seen in our Top 50 Brokers reports (watch this space for the 2020 listings, out soon) and by joining forces the two are really setting themselves up as the challenger broker to the big boys ahead of them.

Hyperion has always been an acquisitional business, so this investment and topping up of the M&A war chest should be no surprise to outside observers.

But with the A-Plan deal taking the Hyperion group down a new road, it will be exciting to see where they go next.

Howden says he wants to turn Hyperion into a Great British broking powerhouse, and with £1bn of revenue already forecasted for next year once A-Plan formally joins the Hyperion ranks, he is well on the way to achieving just that.