Published in Health Care

New investment to drive more deals for Acrisure

BY Monday, December 10, 2018 12:54pm

CALEDONIA — Three investors have put more money into Acrisure LLC, the West Michigan-based insurance brokerage that’s been growing rapidly through an aggressive acquisition strategy.

The latest investment brings to $2 billion the total amount that GSO Capital Partners and Harvest Partners SCF LP, both based in New York City, and Switzerland-based Partners Group have invested in Acrisure, which is on pace to close more than 100 acquisitions in 2018.

Greg Williams COURTESY PHOTO

The acquisition strategy has grown Acrisure’s annual revenue from $650 million to $1.5 billion in two years, and increased the company’s enterprise value to more than $7 billion today from $2.6 billion in 2016.

That’s when co-founder, President and CEO Greg Williams, along with a consortium of minority investors, led a management buyout of the prior private equity investors in Acrisure.

“The increased investment by our existing investors is a strong endorsement of our growth strategy and represents another exciting chapter for Acrisure,” Williams said in a statement. “The additional capital and resources will significantly benefit our company as we continue to grow organically and pursue additional M&A opportunities.

“Further, we have strengthened our position as a leading global provider of insurance solutions and continued to build a pipeline of culturally compatible agency prospects that we look forward to welcoming into the Acrisure family. Importantly, the company continues to be primarily employee owned, with over 83 percent ownership in the hands of employees.”

Acrisure today owns more than 400 partner insurance agencies in 32 states that offer property and casualty policies, employee benefits, human resource outsourcing, loss and claims management, surety bonding and personal lines solutions. The firm employs about 5,600 people.

“Since we initially invested in Acrisure in 2016, we have been very pleased with the company’s progress and have chosen to significantly increase our level of investment,” said Louis Salvatore, senior managing director at GSO Capital Partners. “Acrisure has grown at an accelerated rate as a result of the efforts of Greg and his management team and agency partners who control the company. Based on this progress, we are very optimistic about the company’s continued future performance and we remain strongly supportive of the team as it accelerates Acrisure’s growth trajectory.”

Through the third quarter of 2018, Acrisure completed 70 transactions, according to a quarterly report tracking M&A in the industry from Chicago-based Optis Partners. That’s by far the most among any acquirers as the insurance brokerage industry rapidly continues to consolidate.

Acrisure has been accelerating its acquisition strategy amid the consolidation wave. The company closed 92 deals in 2017, 63 in 2016, and 56 in 2016, according to Optis Partners’ third quarter report, which noted there was “no obvious end in sight for the continued aggressive M&A activity and valuations.”

Nationwide, Optis Partners counted 463 transactions for insurance agencies through the first nine months of 2018, which compares to a highest-ever 468 deals during the same period in 2017. The nine-month total exceeded the number of full-year transactions for every year other than in 2017, which had 611 deals.

As measured by closed transactions, the third quarter was the best quarter ever that Optis Partners has tracked.

Read 3803 times Last modified on Monday, 10 December 2018 12:57
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