Comparethemarket owners valued at £2.2bn as Canadian investment signals end to IPO plans

Oliver Gill
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BGL has been exploring plans for an IPO for over a year (Source: BGL Group)

The owners of furry friends’ favourite Comparethemarket today shelved plans for stock market float after a Canadian pension fund swooped in to take a huge stake in the price comparison site.

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has bought a 30 per cent stake in BGL Group for £675m. The deal slaps a £2.2bn valuation the company that has made superstars of Aleksandr, Oleg and the rest of the family.

BGL had been exploring an initial public offering (IPO) for over a year, originally pencilling in a float in autumn 2016.

Today, the firm said it would “not be pursuing an IPO at this time".

BGL chair Peter Winslow said the firm’s owners had received “a number of approaches from different kinds of investors”.

He added: "A competitive process followed and our view was that CPPIB was the best partner for BGL.. [we are] delighted to welcome CPPIB as an investor".

The investment in a price comparison site is the first of its kind by CPPIB, which ran the deal out of its burgeoning London office.

CPPIB managing director Ryan Selwood said the investment would "further diversify our portfolio".

"This investment is a clear vote of confidence in our performance and potential," said BGL chief executive Matthew Donaldson.

"We have a long-term growth strategy which builds on our market-leading core capabilities of data, digital and marketing. We will continue to operate in our current markets, innovating to ensure we continue to offer the best products for our customers, but we will also focus on developing and launching new ventures."

The investment come as a boost to Comparethemarket which is subject to a probe by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority over exclusive home insurance deals.

The investment is subject to regulatory sign-off. It is expected to complete in April 2018.

Read more: owner pushes stock market float back to late 2017