SimplyBiz, the UK’s largest provider of compliance and business services to financial intermediaries, has agreed to buy Defaqto for £74m.
Huddersfield-based SimplyBiz said Defaqto is a leading financial services technology business, operating a fintech platform for 8,500 advisers and providing independent ratings of 21,000 financial products and funds, licensed by 230 brands.
The group said the combination of SimpyBiz and Defaqto creates a single fintech and support services group, which will benefit from an increased number of distribution channels.
Defaqto will help SimplyBiz to advance its services into the general insurance and banking markets. Similarly, SimplyBiz will offer Defaqto access to its knowledge and experience of the advisory and asset management markets.
Neil Stevens & Matt Timmins, joint CEOs of The SimplyBiz Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the successful acquisition of Defaqto, which will play an important role in building on the group’s strong momentum and enabling us to unlock a wide range of additional growth opportunities.
“Having long respected the Defaqto management team, we also recognise not just the strong strategic fit of the business, but also its cultural alignment. Defaqto is a business built upon industry leading talent and we look forward to working with our new colleagues as we continue to enhance services to financial intermediaries and product providers, and deliver value for shareholders.”
Zahid Bilgrami, CEO of Defaqto, added: “We are absolutely delighted with SimplyBiz’s decision to acquire Defaqto. It opens an exciting new chapter in our development as a leading financial information business, and we look forward to the many opportunities that being part of a larger group will present.”
SimplyBiz is to raise £29m through a share placing and take on £37.5m of debt from Yorkshire Bank and NatWest. The conditional institutional placing was conducted jointly by Zeus Capital and Peel Hunt.