BP Marsh sells stake in Besso

B.P. Marsh & Partners, the specialist venture capital investor in early stage financial services businesses, has agreed to sell its entire 37.94% shareholding in Besso Insurance Group Limited for cash. BGC Partners Inchas agreed to acquire 100% of Besso, with ongoing management and employees rolling over a proportion of their existing Besso shareholdings into BGC shares.

The transaction places an entire enterprise valuation of Besso at £70.5m, however the final purchase price will be subject to various adjustments by reference to completion accounts, which the Company currently anticipates to be as at 31 March 2017.

B.P. Marsh says: "In order to put this into context, the same adjustments applied to Besso's 31st August 2016 Balance Sheet would result in estimated proceeds to B.P. Marsh of £20.6m net of transaction costs and pre-tax. This equity stake was most recently valued by B.P. Marsh at £20.1m as at 31st July 2016. Completion of the transaction will be subject, inter alia, to FCA approval being granted and as part of the terms of the transaction Daniel Topping, the Company's Chief Investment Officer, will resign as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Besso and Besso ESOP Trustee Limited."

Besso commenced a strategic review in August 2015, engaging Canaccord Genuity to assess its strategic options. During this time B.P. Marsh has seen its valuation of Besso increase significantly and the Company's gross proceeds from this sale will represent an increase of c. 48% on its published valuation of the same stake in Besso at 31st July 2015 of £13.9m. In the year to 31 December 2015, Besso achieved Revenues of £37.6m (an increase of 16% on 2014) and EBITDA of £4.17m (an increase of 15% on 2014), and it is continuing this trend in 2016, where it is on track to achieve EBITDA in excess of £10m.