The Hilb Group had been on the market for $1 billion-plus
The Hilb Group has been sold. On October 22nd, Agency Checklists reported that Boston-based Abry Partners, which owned The Hilb Group as a portfolio company, had put Hilb on the market with a $1 Billion-Plus price tag. (See Agency Checklists’ article of October 22, 2019, “The Hilb Group Up For Sale For A Reported $1 Billion-Plus“). Not even two weeks later, the Hilb Group announced this week that it had entered into an definitive agreement with The Carlyle Group. According to the terms of the agreement, investment funds affiliated with the New York-based global investment firm will be used to acquire a majority interest in Hilb.
In commenting on the announcement, Richard Spiro, Chief Executive Officer at Hilb, said, “This investment by Carlyle is a strong endorsement of our growth strategy and represents the next exciting chapter for Hilb. Carlyle’s additional capital and resources will significantly benefit our company and associates as we grow our business organically and through targeted M&A opportunities. Working with Abry enabled us to accelerate our development and we are equally excited to have new partners to fuel future growth. We have a rich pipeline of partnership opportunities and look forward to continuing our expansion with Carlyle.”
Brent Stone, Partner at Abry, said, “During the four years of our ownership, we helped build Hilb into a national insurance brokerage by investing in the company’s operations and strengthening its management team, including recruiting Ricky as CEO. The company’s annual revenues dramatically increased under our ownership and we successfully completed more than 60 strategic add-on acquisitions during that time. We are very pleased with the outcome of this investment for our investors and also for Hilb’s management team and employees. Hilb is very well positioned for ongoing growth and performance as a portfolio company of Carlyle and we wish them success.”
John Redett, Managing Director and Co-Head of Carlyle Global Financial Services, said, “We have long admired the Hilb franchise and are extremely impressed with what Ricky Spiro and the Hilb management team have accomplished during the past several years. We look forward to our partnership, and to supporting Hilb in its next chapter of growth and innovation as it expands into new geographies and product lines to serve the increasingly complex needs of its clients.”
Over 900 associations and 91 branches serving all 50 states
Since its start in 2009, the Richmond-based Hilb group has grown into a major powerhouse over the past decade. In 2015, Boston-based Abry Partners invested in Hilb, overseeing the firm’s exponential and rapid growth fueled by acquisitions of small and middle-market insurance brokerages. By 2019, the company had become a Top 30 insurance brokers in the U.S.
The brokerage firm now operates in 91 locations, serving all 50 states and with more than 900 associates who work for the firm. As part of the terms of the transaction with The Carlyle Group, Hilb’s existing management and employee shareholders will continue on as “significant shareholders.”
Nathan Ott, Principal at Abry, commented, “Hilb has made significant progress since our acquisition and has developed a proven track record of growth across a variety of geographic regions and product lines. The company is led by a best-in-class management team and is poised to achieve its next level of growth.”
Massachusetts agencies that have been acquired by The Hilb Group
The following is a list of the Massachusetts-based agencies that The Hilb Group reportedly has acquired since 2009. Since we only started reporting on M&As and this agency in particular in 2016, the 2015 transaction does not have a link.
- The Hilb Group Acquires G&N Insurance (2019)
- The Hilb Group Adds Massachusetts-based, The Incentive Group To Its Growing Massachusetts Base (2019)
- The Hilb Group Acquires The Handy-Apple Valley Agency (2019)
- The Hilb Group Acquires Massachusetts’ Marsh-Kemp Insurance Agency (2019)
- The Hilb Group’s December Hat Trick: Three Mass. Agencies Purchased In A Month (2018)
- The Hilb Group Acquires Massachusetts DBR Group (2018)
- The Hilb Group Acquires BAR Insurance Brokerage of Needham (2018)
- Massachusetts’ HR Knowledge Acquired By The Hilb Group (2017)
- Massachusetts’s “Five Star” Agency, Mid-State Insurance, Purchased by THG (2017)
- The Hilb Group acquires Sapers & Wallacks (2017)
- The Hilb Group Acquires Hyannis’ Dowling & O’Neil (2016)
- Hilb Group Announces Acquisitions of Insurance Firms Gencorp and Cornerstone (2015)
The transaction between Hilb and The Carlyle Group is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. It is believed equity capital for the deal will come from the Carlyle Partners VII and Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners, III, L.P. The Carlyle Partners VII is an $18.5 billion fund focused on U.S.-based buyout transactions, while the Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners III, L.P., is a dedicated financial service buyout fund. Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
More about Abry Partners
Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since their founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $82.0 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5.0 billion of capital across their active funds.
More about The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $223 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2019, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,775 people in 33 offices across six continents.
More about The Hilb Group
The Hilb Group is a leading middle market insurance agency headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm, Abry Partners. The Hilb Group seeks to grow through targeted acquisitions in the middle market insurance brokerage space. The company now has 91 offices in 21 states.