Open GI and PowerPlace owner sold to management and private equity

The management team of Open GI and PowerPlace owner Open International have confirmed the management buyout of the company with the backing of Montagu Private Equity.

Open GI has 19,000 users which operate across almost 2,000 sites. PowerPlace distributes commercial insurance products electronically via its base of 1,200 brokers and is integrated with Open GI’s software platform.

Non-executive directors Peter Cullum, Andy Homer and silent investors Kenny Maciver, Tony Proverbs and Paul Dyer will no longer be shareholders in the business.

Montagu sold Open International to the current management team and the exiting shareholders for £276m in 2007.

It is understood that this time around Open International changed hands for more than £300m.

The transaction is subject to FCA approval.

Open International chief executive Chris Guillaume said: “We have continued to build on our strong position in the market over the past few years and we are excited to be driving the group’s next phase of growth, notably in the commercial insurance market where PowerPlace is at the forefront of the move to standardise and transact products online.

“We are delighted to be working again with Montagu. With their extensive knowledge of the business and experience backing the growth of other software and technology businesses, they are the ideal partners to support us as the business expands to take advantage of the changing market dynamics.”

Montagu director Edward Shuckburgh said: “We are impressed by Open International’s continued product innovation and its consistent growth and profitability, and it is a business that we know well, having invested previously in 2006.

“We look forward to working with Chris Guillaume and his team and supporting them in their strategy to continue the growth and development of this market leading business.”

Investor and director Andy Homer told Insurance Times: “Chris Guillaume and his team under Peter Cullum’s chairmanship and my involvement have grown the business and got PowerPlace growing.

“The management team can do it on their own and Montagu have bought into that management team. It’s time for them to run it.

“There’s a time for you to mature your investment and we’ve all done well as shareholders.”

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