Englefield debuts with Trenwick MBO

Englefield Capital has backed management at the UK-based underwriting business in a £30m buyout from US insurer Trenwick Group.

Englefield Capital, the UK-based private equity firm headed by former Warburg Pincus partner Dominic Shorthouse, has completed its first deal since raising its debut fund.

The firm has backed a management buyout at Trenwick Managing Agents, one of the biggest managing agencies within the Lloyd’s insurance market. The business is part of the larger Trenwick Group, the struggling US insurer based in Bermuda.

“The UK division has suffered financial difficulties in the past,” said Englefield partner Adam Barron, “although the recently-appointed management team has turned the company around into a profitable operation. We plan to build upon the successful strategy put in place by management.”

 

The buyout is valued at around £30m, of which Englefield is committing £27m with management making up the remainder. Englefield was advised on the transaction by Benfield and PricewaterhouseCooper.

 

The deal is the first to emerge from The Englefield Fund, a E700m fund that received the majority of its backing from Cofra, the Swiss-based family office investing on behalf of the Brenninkmeijer family.

 

Barron said the firm was confident of completing further transactions before the year end, adding that the pipeline for such deals was promising. “There is certainly a good number of strong management teams about at present and the balance between supply and availability of capital is good. However, the auction-driven market we are in at the moment means that firms are paying a full and fair price for businesses.'

 

In May, Englefield established an advisory board that will review the sectors the partners have identified as attractive, including business services, renewable energy and retail financial services. Together with the founding partners of Englefield, Louis Brenninkmeijer and Yves de Balmann of Bregal, the Advisory Board includes broadcaster Sir David Frost, former Warburg Pincus senior partner Ed McKinley and former Gartmore Investment Management chairman Paul Myners.

 

In May this year, Englefield Capital finalised arrangements for an Affiliates Fund which has secured commitments from approximately 150 individuals, most of whom are business leaders in the UK, Western Europe and the United States. The size of the Affiliates Fund has not been disclosed.