Sale to Goldman Sachs

Hastings Insurance Group

Our 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 legal team was 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."

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