Autonet announces investment from new backer

Ian Donaldson, MD, Autonet

Autonet Insurance Services (“Autonet”) the UK based online focused insurance broker specialising in van and car insurance, today confirms it has agreed a majority sale, subject to FCA approval, to an investment vehicle established by HPS Investment Partners (“HPS”).  

Autonet was founded by Glynn Keeling and then sales director Ian Donaldson in 1998, with the founding principle “to be the best at what we do through innovation, business partnerships and customer satisfaction”. The transaction, once completed, will mark the next chapter in Autonet’s development.

Autonet achieved its first financial milestone delivering turnover of £1m in just two years and has grown entirely organically to deliver gross written premiums in excess of £130m in 2015. It now employs over 700 people at its purpose built office in Stoke-on-Trent and has 340,000 live policies.

Managing Director Ian Donaldson and Finance Director Craig Ball will continue to lead the business and will retain an ongoing stake in Autonet. Founder and Chairman Glynn Keeling will leave the business as part of the transaction.

Glynn Keeling commented: “The business is unrecognisable from where we began in 1998. By remaining true to our founding principle we have taken Autonet from a start up to one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers. I am very proud of what we have achieved and delighted that Ian and Craig will be leading the next phase in the Autonet story.  I am confident the business will go from strength to strength under Ian and Craig’s leadership and with the support and guidance of HPS.  I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Ian Donaldson said: “We’re delighted to have the support of HPS. We’ve had numerous approaches to sell Autonet. This is the one that turned our head because it gives us long term backing for our next phase of growth and is a great opportunity for the business and our staff. The team at HPS share our ‘Planet Autonet’ values to be passionate, loyal, ambitious, nimble, expert and trustworthy.”

Garth Hackshall and David Jones, corporate finance partners at business advisory firm Deloitte, acted as lead advisors to the shareholders on the sale of Autonet. Hackshall commented: “We have worked with Glynn, Ian, Craig and Autonet over a number of years now and seen the successful growth and evolution of the business. This is an excellent outcome for all parties and I expect Autonet to go from strength to strength under its new ownership”