January 25, 2016 / 5:10 PM / 4 years ago

Exclusive: Insurance broker Acrisure explores $2 billion sale - sources

(Reuters) - Acrisure LLC, one of the top 15 insurance brokerages in the United States, is exploring a sale that it hopes will value it at as much as $2 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Acrisure’s owner, private equity firm Genstar Capital LLC, has hired investment bank Evercore Partners Inc (EVR.N) to run an auction for the company, the sources said on Monday.

Caledonia, Michigan-based Acrisure generates annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $164 million, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the sale process is confidential.

Genstar and Acrisure declined to comment.

Genstar, which specializes in investments in financial services as well as the healthcare, software and life science industries, bought Acrisure for an undisclosed sum in 2013.

Acrisure provides insurance coverage in a swath of sectors, from retail to energy and real estate, in 23 U.S. states. The company generated revenue of $231 million for the 12 months through September 2015, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Private equity-owned insurance brokerages saw a spate of deals in 2015. Buyout firm Apax Partners LLP, for example, agreed to acquire AssuredPartners Inc in July from GTCR LLC, while in June Stone Point Capital LLC invested in KKR & Co LP’s (KKR.N) Alliant Insurance Services.

Confie, a U.S. insurance brokerage focused primarily on Hispanic consumers, was exploring a sale in the fall that could value it at as much as $1.6 billion, including debt.

Reporting by Mike Stone in New York, additional reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York, editing by G Crosse

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