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Magenta Partners exits iPrism to Bowmark Capital

28 Apr 2014

UK growth investor Magenta Partners has sold its stake in iprism Underwriting Agency to fellow private equity firm to Bowmark Capital.

iprism is an insurance intermediary that sells policies to brokers and direct customers on behalf of groups such as AXA, Aviva and LV. Magenta acquired a minority stake in iprism in November 2010.

Chase Emson, partner of Magenta Partners, said, “iprism is a great example of a business that has shown consistently strong growth despite challenging economic conditions, and this is largely down to its innovative approach and talented management team. It recognised how an online capability could revolutionalise the process of buying SME insurance.

“As a minority investor, we have worked alongside the business from the point that it was just starting to break even to now. It has shown a highly impressive rate of growth and has netted a significant return on our investment. We wish the company great success during its next stage of development.”

Magenta launched in January 2008; since then it has invested in eight UK small and medium sized businesses, including childrenswear retailer JoJo Maman Bebe; and has exited three investments, which include Pure Gym, sold to CCMP Capital Advisors in May 2013 generating an IRR of 76 per cent, and independent media design and production agency Tag Worldwide, which sold to Williams Lea in 2011, generating an IRR of 42 per cent. Across its eight portfolio businesses, Magenta has advised on investments totaling £44m and returned just over £90m from its first three exits.

Tom Matthews, partner of Magenta said, “Our investment performance continues to demonstrate that supportive and knowledgeable capital, when partnered with entrepreneurial and talented management teams in growth businesses, can generate top tier returns for investors without the need for excessive leverage. It is an exciting segment of the market in which to operate given the current environment.”

Magenta Partners was founded in 2008, investing entrepreneurial capital in businesses requiring up to £15m.

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