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Ardian backs French insurance broker

The firm is acquiring a 26 percent stake in Siaci Saint Honoré from insurance provider JLT

Paris-based Ardian has agreed to acquire a 26.2 percent stake in Siaci Saint Honoré, a provider of insurance broking and employee benefit services in France. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The firm will acquire the stake from London-listed Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT), a provider of insurance, reinsurance, employee benefits-related advice, and brokerage and associated services.

Following the completion of the deal, the management team, chaired by Pierre Donnersberg, and employees will hold a stake of around 15 percent, and investor Edmond de Rothschild will retain a 20 percent stake, according to a joint statement from Ardian, Siaci Saint Honoré and Edmond de Rothschild.

The transaction, expected to complete by the end of April, will create a gain for JLT of £21 million (€28 million; $32 million) in 2015, with net proceeds of £82.1 million (€110.7 million; $126.4 million) payable in cash, JLT said in a statement. The net proceeds will be used to repay borrowings.

Based in Paris, Siaci Saint Honoré serves more than 3,500 customers across several sectors, including construction, transport, telecommunications, distributions, luxury and energy. According to JLT it is one of the largest providers of insurance broking and employee benefits services in France, and has a growing international expatriate healthcare business.

In recent years the business has completed acquisitions to develop its customer portfolio and geographic coverage, with international revenues growing by more than 10 percent on average since 2009. Between 2009 and 2013 sales increased from €160 million to €244 million, according to the joint statement.

The company and JLT will continue to work together on a number of joint ventures and initiatives including energy, construction, marine and cargo, and credit and political risk, as well as service shared international clients on a global basis, JLT said.

Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas, CIC, Crédit Agricole, ING, Natixis and Société Génale were mandated arrangers and book runners structuring the financing for the acquisition.

Ardian did not return a request for further comment at press time.