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Howden raises $1.2B for investment, appoints M&A head

Peter Blanc

Howden Group Holdings Ltd. said Monday it has raised £1 billion ($1.2 billion) to invest in mergers and acquisitions, as it promoted Peter Blanc to head of M&A in a newly created role.

He will report to David Howden, CEO of Howden Group, and help expand the brokerage’s geographic reach and product expertise across retail broking, reinsurance broking and underwriting. Mr. Blanc is currently executive chairman of Howden UK and Ireland, and prior to that was CEO of Aston Lark, which Howden acquired in 2021.

Howden has secured over £875 million ($1.09 billion) through debt and equity financing, boosting its total cash and other facilities available for investing in M&A, talent and other initiatives to more than $1.2 billion, the London-based brokerage said in a statement.

Howden finalized a $500 million seven-year term loan March 24 with more than 60 lenders providing capital, including more than 10 new lenders.

Its revolving credit facility also increased from £185 million ($230.6 million) to £360 million ($448.7 million) across a range of banking relationships, Howden said.

The $1.2 billion capital-raising gives Howden the “financial firepower” to “accelerate at pace” and to develop its European and global footprint, Mr. Howden said in the statement.

Howden formed Howden Tiger in January after acquiring U.S. reinsurance brokerage TigerRisk Partners LLC last year. Group revenue increased 60% year-on-year to £1.84 billion ($2.28 billion) in the fiscal year ended September 2022.

The brokerage completed 31 acquisitions in 2022 and now has over 14,500 employees across 50 countries.