Beat Capital Partners secures Ambac as majority shareholder

Deal carries US$282 million price tag

Beat Capital Partners secures Ambac as majority shareholder

Mergers & Acquisitions

By Terry Gangcuangco

Insurance holding company Ambac Financial Group has agreed to acquire a 60% controlling interest in London-based insurance underwriting and managing general agency incubation platform Beat Capital Partners to the tune of US$282 million.

Under the definitive agreement, Ambac will buy 60% of Beat from existing shareholders, including Bain Capital and the MGA platform’s management team. Reflecting Ambac’s commitment to financial alignment with its partners, Beat’s management team and Bain Capital will each retain an approximately 20% equity stake in Beat.

“This is a monumental day for Ambac,” declared Ambac president and chief executive Claude LeBlanc (pictured). “The acquisition of Beat, which is one of the largest UK independent underwriting managers, aligns with our vision of being a premier destination for MGAs and materially accelerates our progress towards our three-year target of generating in excess of US$100 million of annual EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation).

“This acquisition propels Ambac to the forefront of the specialty programme insurance market. We are not simply acquiring a leading specialty underwriting platform; we are aligning with a team that has proven ability to build and launch profitable de novo MGAs, which is a core pillar of our growth strategy. Adding Beat to our platform gives us immediate scale and a strong pipeline to fuel future growth.”

Beat partner and chair John Cavanagh, who will continue to manage the business, called the deal a “transformational partnership” for the UK underwriting platform.

“Ambac’s well-established MGA incubation and carrier capabilities and its outstanding leadership team is a perfect fit with Beat’s existing platform and team,” Cavanagh commented. “This joint enterprise now represents one of the foremost global platforms for MGAs and underwriting franchises, with a significant footprint in the US, UK, and Bermudan markets and scope to grow into other geographies.

“Our aligned capacity, affiliated carrier capabilities, and global licensing offers leading specialty underwriters who have an absolute focus on underwriting profit the perfect platform to build their businesses.”

Beat has launched 13 underwriting franchises and MGAs since 2017 while at the same time holding management rights for Lloyd’s Syndicates 4242 and 1416 and having an exclusive capacity relationship with Bermuda reinsurer Cadenza Re. In 2023, Beat’s businesses produced US$533 million in combined gross premiums and approximately US$17 million in EBITDA.

Meanwhile, with the addition of Beat, Ambac’s specialty property and casualty insurance platform is projected to generate more than US$1.4 billion in gross written premiums on a combined full-year 2024 pro forma basis.

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