Irish online brokerage seeks growth through mergers and acquisitions
Chill Insurance has sold a majority stake to UK private equity firm Livingbridge as the online brokerage seeks to fund acquisitions and build product range and market share.
Chill and Livingbridge both declined to confirm the size of the stake being acquired or its cash price.
But an industry source said Chill’s previous main shareholders, brothers Padraig and Seamus Lynch, have retained approximately a 30pc stake. The source declined to specify how much Livingbridge paid or the exact size of its holding following yesterday’s completion of the deal.
Chill chief executive Michael McLaughlin said Livingbridge’s cash injection would allow the firm, founded in 2006 by the Lynches, to pursue “the next stage in our growth journey”.
He said Chill – which reportedly had been seeking to raise funds through debt finance before Livingbridge’s investment interest materialised – had been “impressed by their successful track record in scaling insurance businesses”.
“Their expertise will be invaluable as we continue to widen our reach in the personal lines sector, expand our portfolio of complementary financial services products, and build our M&A (mergers and acquisitions) capability,” Mr McLaughlin said.
Chill is Ireland’s largest online insurance broker and employs about 250 people in Dublin. The firm says it has 200,000 policyholders representing a 6pc market share nationwide.
Livingbridge – which holds stakes in other brokerages and has offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Melbourne and Boston – said in a statement that it was attracted to Chill as an industry “disruptor” with “best-in-class IT infrastructure”.
Chill offers “whole-of-market choice through a panel of 14 major insurance carriers at competitive prices direct to its customers”, the UK firm said.
Livingbridge partner Xavier Woodward said: “Chill represents a fantastic opportunity to back a multi-product insurance provider which is uniquely positioned to grow in a large and attractive market.”
He said Livingbridge and Chill will focus on “accelerating the growth of the business through M&A”.
Irish insurance companies are being urged to partially refund motor premiums for drivers who are travelling far less on the roads since the country was placed into lockdown due to Covid-19.
In less than four weeks time, on June 29th, childcare services can re-open to provide services to the children of essential workers. Childcare providers are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that their premises are up to standard, but unfortunately there will be many that will not open for a number of reasons, including lack of space to allow social distancing, and uncertainty surrounding childcare scheme subsidies.