French insurance broker April Group said private equity firm KKR & Co. has become its new majority shareholder, according to a statement posted on its website.
The statement, which confirmed a Bloomberg News report, didn’t disclose deal terms. KKR is valuing the asset being sold by CVC Capital Partners at about €2.3 billion ($2.4 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.
“Our aim is to continue the history of this great company and to make it a French champion on a global scale,” Eric Maumy, April’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This next chapter will be enabled by the management team, our 2,300 employees, and KKR, for the benefit of our partners and policyholders.”
A deal would mark a rare investment in the European financial services industry for KKR. It comes as falling valuations and choppy stock markets make it more difficult for private equity funds to exit their investments.
Insurance brokers are seen as attractive targets for private equity thanks to their asset-light business models and the fragmented nature of the industry. Such firms, which can be highly cash generative, act as intermediaries that help customers find insurers to cover specific risks. Buyout firm Cinven bought specialist insurance broker Miller from Willis Towers Watson Plc in 2021.
Representatives for CVC and KKR declined to comment beyond the stateent.
Lyon-based April, founded in 1988, brokers loan, health and property insurance for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses. CVC bought a majority stake in the company in 2019 and took it private the next year. It has since invested in digitizing the business.
Rothschild & Co. and Morgan Stanley are advising CVC and Centerview Partners is advising KKR, the people said. Representatives for Morgan Stanley and Centerview declined to comment while Rothschild didn’t return a request for comment.
Photograph: French insurance broker April Group said private equity firm KKR & Co. has become its new majority shareholder. Photo credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
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