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Hellman & Friedman said to be exploring Hub stake sale: report

August 17, 2017

Hub International’s private equity backer Hellman & Friedman is reportedly exploring the sale of a stake in the broker in a deal that could value the intermediary at between $6bn and $7bn, according to Reuters.

The move follows Hellman & Friedman's acquisition of Hub in 2013 from fellow private equity firm Apax Partners in a $4.4bn deal.

In a report dated 17 August, Reuters said that Hellman & Friedman would retain a controlling interest in Hub in any deal, citing sources it did not name.

The publication said that Hellman & Friedman has hired an investment bank to explore the stake sale, adding that one source had indicated that several private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and public pension funds are considering an investment in the Chicago-based intermediary.

Hub provides personal, business and employee benefit insurance products through more than 400 brokerages across Canada and the United States. It was founded in 1998 with the merger of 11 privately held insurance brokerages and now ranks as the eighth-largest broker in the world.

Hub has been highly acquisitive in recent years, acquiring hundreds of small and mid-sized brokers.

The company generated total revenue of $1.6bn for the 12 months through September 2016, according to Moody's Investors Service, Reuters said.

The speculation follows a number of PE broker deals in recent months.

At the end of July, Carlyle Group sold its majority interest in Epic Insurance brokers to another private equity firm, Oak Hill, in a $997mn deal.

Meanwhile, in March, Onex Group sold its stake in USI Insurance Services for $4.3bn to private equity firm KKR and Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).