Broker chief executive believes the acquisition is a ‘significant milestone’

Broker PIB Group has been acquired by funds advised by Apax Partners, a global private equity advisory firm – the deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Funds advised by investment company The Carlyle Group – PIB Group’s investor since its formation in 2015 – plan to re-invest in the business for a minority stake.

The broker’s executive leadership team, including chief executive Brendan McManus and chief financial officer Ryan Brown, will remain in their roles following the acquisition.

The investment injection from Apax will enable PIB Group to continue its growth trajectory, both organically and by accelerating M&A activity in the UK and internationally.

McManus said he is “delighted” PIB Group has been acquired by Apax Partners – he described the move as a “significant milestone”.

He continued: “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.”

‘Leading player’

For Apax Partners, PIB Group is a “leading player” in a key investment area.

Ashish Karandikar, a partner at the firm, said: “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.”

The Apax Funds have previous experience investing in the insurance sector, helping companies consolidate large, fragmented markets. This includes Assured Partners, Genex and Hub International, which were successfully exited in 2019, 2018 and 2013 respectively.

Linklaters is acting as legal counsel to PIB Group and The Carlyle Group, while Kirkland and Ellis is serving as legal counsel to Apax.

Meanwhile, KBW is serving as financial advisor to PIB Group and The Carlyle Group in connection with the transaction, and Jamieson Corporate Finance and Dickson Minto has been advising the management team.