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Private equity firm Lightyear takes 55% stake in Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford


Global wholesale and reinsurance broking group Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd. has entered an agreement with Lightyear Capital L.L.C. and institutional co-investors under which the private equity firm will own 55% of the CGSC group, the parties announced Monday.

The financial terms of the agreement are confidential, a CGSC spokesman in London said in an email. He added, “The investor will own 55% of CGSC following the purchase of shares from existing shareholders and a substantial investment in new equity.”

“Lightyear sees a long-term growth opportunity in the non-risk-bearing, global insurance brokerage industry,” said Donald B. Marron, chairman of New York-based Lightyear, said in a statement. “Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford is a leader in this field and possesses strong differentiation, global reach and long-term client relationships.”

“We have made no secret of our desire for an IPO as part of our overall journey,” said the CGSC spokesman. “The current time is not right and in order to continue expanding, we sought investment from a third party — in this case, Lightyear Capital.”

The spokesman said that even though the financial details remain confidential, “we can confirm that CGSC now has the resources at its disposal to realize its acquisition ambitions. We expect to make further announcements in the near future.”

“The agreement, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, will deliver on CGSC’s strategy of seeking further capital investment to support the group’s continued growth, and is expected to close before the end of 2012,” said CGSC in a statement.

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