Investment company Eurazeo will acquire as much as 34% of BMS Group’s share capital, investing up to £355 million in the global dealer.
The brokerage, which has 28 offices across 14 countries, is partly owned by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), Preservation Capital Partners (PCP), and BMS staff and management. Eurazeo’s arrival will see the new investors and BCI, together, become majority shareholders. BMS bosses and employees, meanwhile, will continue to have significant shareholding to their name.
“At a time when the macro-economic environment is causing headwinds for some, this investment is a testament to the extraordinary growth and expansion we have delivered for several years and the confidence we have in our strategy to expand as a global independent specialty insurance and reinsurance broker,” said BMS chief executive Nick Cook.
“BMS has attracted immense attention over the past few months from global investors as we looked to position the business for an exciting future. The global reach of Eurazeo will undoubtedly help us in our ongoing expansion alongside the continued support of BCI and PCP. I am delighted to welcome Eurazeo, a prestigious listed global partner.”
Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction confirms a previous report that BMS was potentially up for sale.
Meanwhile, Cook, whose leadership team will remain intact post-deal, highlighted that BMS now has three long-term capital partners backing not only the firm’s strategy and vision but also its continued independence.
Commenting on the investment, Eurazeo’s Maxime de Bentzmann and Eric Sondag noted in a joint statement: “We have been exploring specialty insurance and reinsurance markets for some time, and we are impressed by BMS’s growth trajectory over the recent years including a significant expansion of its US reinsurance business segment.
“Together with our powerful international network, we are convinced that the group has tremendous potential across the globe both organically and through M&A.”
BMS has made eight acquisitions over the past three years, with revenues growing from around £100 million to more than £250 million in the 2019-2022 period. The business is manned by roughly 900 people in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.