Recently The Ardonagh Group completed its debt-powered swoop for Knaresborough-based Bravo Group and Irish giant Arachas, with several more in the pipeline. Now Ardonagh boss David Ross tells the Financial Times why going public isn’t a near-term fundraising option for the biggest independent insurance broker in the UK.
“We’ve been able to pull off this refinancing without the distraction of having to explain ourselves to shareholders,” the publication quoted Ross as saying. “Ten years ago a business like ours would have prepared to go public to get access to capital, but now there’s a lot of private money available.”
The chief executive was referring to what has been described as the world’s largest ever unitranche financing arrangement, which consists of a £1.575 billion unitranche facility and a committed undrawn £300 million capital expenditure facility allocated for future acquisitions.
The combined amount comes from the likes of Ares Management Corporation, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, HPS Investment Partners, KKR, Oaktree Capital Management, and, Owl Rock Capital. Currently, the brokerage’s equity value stands at £1.6 billion.
Ardonagh – the business portfolio of which spans brands such as Autonet, Bishopsgate, Carole Nash, Geo Underwriting, Price Forbes, Swinton, Towergate, and URIS – was formed in 2017 with the backing of majority shareholders HPS and Madison Dearborn Partners.