B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc (AIM: BPM), announces that, further to its announcement on 4th January 2017, and all conditions to completion having now been met, the sale of its 37.94% stake in Besso Insurance Group Limited (“Besso”) to an affiliate of BGC Partners, Inc (“BGC”) has today completed.
The Group has received £21.5m in cash today (net of transaction costs and pre-tax) pursuant to BGC’s 100% acquisition of Besso for an enterprise valuation of approximately £70.5m. The ultimate consideration remains subject to various adjustments by reference to completion accounts at today’s date. The Group’s proceeds from this sale represents an increase of c. 55% on its published valuation of the same stake in Besso at 31st July 2015 of £13.9m.
Following receipt of funds (including the associated repayment of existing shareholder loans), B.P. Marsh expects to have additional funds available of approximately £19.07m (after transaction costs, adjustments and tax).
The Board of B.P. Marsh intends to continue to strike a balance between utilising funds for investment for long-term capital growth, whilst providing shareholders with a meaningful ongoing return. Investment funds will be targeted to both the existing portfolio to enable those businesses to develop further and to pursue new opportunities. To reflect the increase in cash reserves, B.P. Marsh has raised the upper limit for initial investment to £5m, from £3m.
The current pipeline of new opportunities includes start-up and early stage, as well as more developed, businesses particularly within the insurance intermediary sector both in the UK and internationally. B.P. Marsh has expanded geographically in recent years and now holds investments in Australia, South Africa and Singapore and Canada as well as throughout the UK. The international strategy remains the same; to focus on territories with good opportunity for business development in partnership with a London investor and a suitably developed regulatory and compliance environment.