CPPIB to invest $1 billion in British financial services distributor
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is investing $1.13 billion for a 30 per cent stake in Britain-based BGL Group Ltd.

The distributor of insurance and household financial services, which has 8.5 million customers, is behind several brands, including price comparison website Comparethemarket.com, as well as insurance providers Dial Direct and Budget Insurance.

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“Through this investment in BGL Group, CPPIB will participate in the continued growth of a leading financial technology business serving the U.K. consumer insurance distribution market, which provides greater transparency and choice to consumers,” said Ryan Selwood, managing director and head of direct private equity at the pension fund, in a news release.

The CPPIB is partnering with BHL Holdings Ltd., the current owner of BGL Group, which will maintain a majority stake in the company.

Selwood called the investment a great example of the pension fund’s strategy around private equity solutions, “where we provide capital solutions at scale to families, like-minded investors, corporations, funds and entrepreneurs to pursue sizeable investments with an option to hold long term, ultimately delivering strong risk-adjusted returns to CPP contributors and beneficiaries.”

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As a result of the deal, BGL Group will no longer be pursuing an initial public offering, according to its chair, Peter Winslow. “During the course of our IPO preparations, our shareholder BHL received a number of approaches from different kinds of investors, as BGL represents a unique growth opportunity in U.K. financial services. A competitive process followed and our view was that CPPIB was the best partner for BGL,” he said in the news release.

“We will continue to operate in our current markets, innovating to ensure we continue to offer the best products for our customers, but we will also focus on developing and launching new ventures,” said Matthew Donaldson, chief executive officer of BGL Group.

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