Goldman Sachs Acquires Fifty Percent Stake in Kaye Scholer Client Hastings Insurance Group

October 11, 2013

London―Kaye Scholer client, Hastings Insurance Group (Hastings), one of Europe's fastest growing insurance businesses, has entered into definitive agreements, following which Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (GS MBD) will acquire 50 percent of the voting share capital of the Group.  The transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval and will be financed through a mixture of equity and new debt financing, implies a net enterprise value of approximately £700 million.

Hastings has grown rapidly since it underwent a management buyout in 2009.  For the twelve months ended 30th June 2013, Hastings generated gross premium placed of £444.1m and adjusted EBITDA of £83.3m.  As at 30th June 2013, Hastings had 1.3m customers, an increase of 17 percent on the previous 12 months, with a stated ambition to protect 1 in 10 by 2020.

The team that led the management buyout will retain a 50 percent stake in the business, whilst existing management, led by Gary Hoffman, will also remain invested in the Group, demonstrating strong confidence in the continued future success of the business.  Hastings' current shareholder base comprises both management and a significant number of its employees.

"We are incredibly proud of our achievements to date and the decision by GS MBD to invest in the business.  I believe that GS MBD is the best partner for us to realize our goals within the business and in the future.  As part of the buyout team, I am personally committed to the partnership going forward and the continued success of the Group," said Neil Utley, Hastings Chairman

He added: "The Kaye Scholer team were utterly focused on delivering this complex transaction in the tight timescale.  They have done a superb job and we commend them for their determination, hard work and commercial judgment in helping us reach this point".

The Kaye Scholer team advising Hastings was led by London Office Managing Partner Andrew Harris, along with fellow private equity and corporate partners Sean Scanlon, Stuart Fleet and David Gerber, antitrust partner Sebastian Jungermann, and assisted by Amy Utley and Sherry Scrivens.

Kaye Scholer’s Corporate Department combines a full-service transactional practice with proactive, strategic business counseling. Both public and private US, European, Canadian and other international clients turn to us for focused senior-level attention on their most important matters, particularly when it comes to private equity, complex M&A and life sciences transactions. Top-ranked by US News & World Report for its premier Private Equity Practice, the group regularly works with more than 40 US and international private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Editors of the 2013 IFLR 1000 recently declared, “More specialized and sophisticated than many, Kaye Scholer’s Corporate team has developed a sweet spot in the engineering of middle market M&A and private equity deals, with a preference for complexity rather than size.”

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