Private Equity Takes Control At Chill Insurance

17 Jun 2020 | 10.17 am

Private Equity Takes Control At Chill Insurance

Livingbridge will take it from here

17 Jun 2020 | 10.17 am

British private equity company Livingbridge has bought a majority stake in Chill Insurance.

The insurance broker was founded in 2006 by Padraig Lynch and Seamus Lynch and says it is now the largest independent personal lines insurance broker in Ireland, with c.200,000 policyholders and a 6% market share.

Seamus Lynch (51) owned over 90% of the company equity before the Livingbridge investment.

Chill Insurance Ltd had turnover of €23.4m in the year to April 2019, down marginally on the previous year. Operating profit excluding depreciation was €3.2m, and cash generated from operations was €3m.

The company had total liabilities of €29.6m in April 2019 and a net worth of €6.7m. Bank loans through 2018/19 increased from €9m to €11.8m.

Chill is very active in the online space, and website and IT investment has amounted to €7.9m, including €1.3m in 2018/19. The company’s two main subsidiaries are Aaran Insurances and Chill Money, funded with €4m capital from their parent.

Average annual pay for 257 staff was €37,500. The company makes a token gesture at assisting employees with their pensions, with the full year charge for company payments to defined contribution schemes amounting to €22,464 – an average of €87 per person.

Chief executive Michael McLaughlin said: “We are excited by the prospect of partnering with Livingbridge on the next stage in our growth journey. We have been impressed by their successful track record in scaling insurance businesses and their expertise will be invaluable as we continue to widen our reach in the personal lines sector, expand our portfolio of complementary financial services products and build our M&A capability.”

Livingbridge executive Xavier Woodward added: “Chill represents a fantastic opportunity to back a multi-product insurance provider which is uniquely positioned to grow in a large and attractive market.  Michael and the management team have all the ingredients we look for in an investee company and we look forward to working with them on accelerating the growth of the business through the M&A strategy over the coming years.”

Earlier this month, Livingbridge acquired a majority stake in Galway-based cyber security company TitanHQ. 

Deal details were not disclosed, though market observers speculate that the Chill business could have a value of €100m. The Lynch brothers will retain a stake of c.30% in the company.

Photo: Padraig Lynch (centre) and Chill Insurance staffers, pictured in 2012. (Pic: Conor McCabe)

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