• Corporate Finance Transactions

BGL Completes Growth Capital Raise for ComparisonMarket, Inc.

March 14 2005

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) announced today the successful completion of the private equity capital raise for ComparisonMarket, Inc.  BGL was hired by ComparisonMarket to raise capital to support the future growth of its business model.

ComparisonMarket, based in Cleveland, Ohio, owns and operates the consumer website www.insurance.com, an online insurance marketplace that allows consumers to receive comparative quotes from top companies and purchase insurance products through the site. The site provides quotes for auto insurance, life, health, home and specialty lines of insurance. The service is also private labeled on behalf of leading financial institutions and affinity groups.
 
For the equity raise, BGL cultivated interest from several traditional venture capital firms.  Ultimately, a New England-based private equity group funded the capital raise with a $10 million investment in the form of convertible notes on market terms.  In addition, existing shareholder, StarVest Partners, L.P. invested $4 million on similar terms. 
 
Since 2003, BGL has assisted ComparisonMarket in raising approximately $46 million to support the development and marketing of its leading insurance offering.  In July of 2003, BGL negotiated and placed a $20 million senior secured credit facility through Provident Bank, a National City Corporation subsidiary.  In addition, in January 2004, BGL completed a $12 million equity financing funded by existing shareholders and led by StarVest Partners.
 
David L. Roush, chief executive officer of ComparisonMarket said, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this capital raise and view this as the last required capital infusion to meet our long-term goals.  Our entire organization will benefit greatly from our investors’ insurance expertise.”
 
Commenting on the transaction, Scott T. Berlin, managing director at BGL said, “It was our pleasure to assist ComparisonMarket in financing the development of this leading technology platform.  ComparisonMarket represents a formidable presence in the large and growing comparative automobile insurance sector.  The investment made further demonstrates the market validation of ComparisonMarket’s business model.  We enjoyed working with an emerging growth company in Northeast Ohio with such a well-developed business model and strong entrepreneurial management team.”
 
Mr. Roush commented on BGL’s involvement in the transactions by saying, “Once again, BGL’s capital markets expertise proved invaluable in the process. Our bankers brought multiple financing options and quality investment groups to the table resulting in a highly successful outcome.”
 
About Brown Gibbons Lang & Company
Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) is a leading independent investment bank serving middle market companies and their owners throughout the U.S. and internationally. BGL’s professionals are experts in mergers & acquisitions, debt & equity placements, and financial restructurings.  BGL is the U.S. partner in Global M&A, the world’s leading working partnership of investment banking boutiques.  More information on BGL can be found at www.bglco.com.
 
About ComparisonMarket, Inc.
ComparisonMarket, Inc. owns and operates Insurance.com, an online insurance marketplace where consumers can compare and buy competitive quotes for many insurance products, including auto, life, home and health. More than a dozen leading auto insurance companies offer competitive car insurance quotes through its website www.insurance.com. The site allows users to see multiple auto quotes and do a side-by-side comparison to find the right policy for their needs. Consumers can purchase their policy online or through a licensed insurance agent. 

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