Private equity firm Cinven and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, have reached an agreement to acquire insurance and reinsurance broker Miller from the firm’s majority shareholder Willis Towers Watson (WTW).
The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed in Q1 2021 and is still subject to regulatory approval.
With global advisory and broking company WTW announcing plans for a US$30bn merger with fellow broker Aon in March, the firm had been looking to sell its 85% stake in Miller earlier in the year, only for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic to cause a delay in those plans.
In April, a spokesperson for WTW told Reuters: “Given the current Covid-19 outbreak and associated uncertainty, we have paused our current efforts to explore strategic alternatives for Miller.”
Covid-19 has hit the wider insurance industry, with Lloyd’s of London reporting in September that it had suffered a loss of £400mn for the first half of the year, compared with a £2.3bn profit for the same period last year.
Commenting on the deal, Luigi Sbrozzi, a Cinven partner, says: “Miller is a highly attractive, resilient specialist insurance business with strong long-term growth opportunities across all of its segments and a history of consistent growth through various economic cycles.”
“We see opportunities both organically, by recruiting new specialist brokers, and through incremental M&A over time,” he adds.
Miller’s CEO, Greg Collins, says that the deal will help the firm make “incremental targeted, strategic investments as we look to realise our ambition of becoming the leading independent specialist (re)insurance broking firm”.
Miller operates internationally and at Lloyd’s of London, and is active in a number of specialist areas, including marine, energy, credit and political risks, property and (re)insurance. Headquartered in London, the firm – which also has offices in Ipswich, Brussels, Paris, Singapore and Geneva – says it places US$2bn worth of premiums annually.
Cinven and GIC advisors on the deal included: Barclays (M&A), Clifford Chance (legal) and Marsh (insurance).
Meanwhile, advisors to the sellers included: Goldman Sachs (financial advisor to WTW), Herbert Smith Freehills and Addleshaw Goddard (legal), as well as Jamieson Corporate Finance, which acted as financial advisor to Miller’s partners.