• Corporate Finance Transactions

BGL Completes Growth Capital Raise for ComparisonMarket, Inc.

December 11 2006

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company announced today that its client, ComparisonMarket, Inc. (“ComparisonMarket” or the “Company”) has closed on a $50 million senior secured credit facility with Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, L.P. (“GSSLG”), a division of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Founded in Solon, Ohio in 2000, ComparisonMarket operates one of the country’s leading comparative quoting networks for automotive, home, life, health, and specialty lines of insurance. 
Since 2003, BGL has assisted ComparisonMarket in raising approximately $100 million of capital in the form of senior secured debt, convertible notes, and preferred equity.  In May 2006, BGL was engaged by the Company for the third time to raise low cost funds to support the continued roll out of the Company’s leading technology platform. 
In order to secure the financing, BGL transacted a broad auction process in which it confidentially contacted over 80 potential lenders, including traditional commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, subordinated lenders, mezzanine lenders, private equity firms, and hedge funds.  As a result of the Company’s strong growth prospects, BGL received significant interest from all classes of potential lenders.  Ultimately, after several rounds of final negotiations, ComparisonMarket selected GSSLG to consummate a $50 million senior secured credit facility.
“We are extremely pleased with the new credit facility as it provides significant availability to fund our long-term strategy, as we look to further establish ComparisonMarket as the leading national online insurance agency,” stated David L. Roush, chief executive officer of ComparisonMarket.  “The fact that we are able to finance the growth of the Company using lower cost debt instead of equity capital demonstrates the successful accomplishments and maturation of our business.”
Commenting on the transaction, Scott T. Berlin, managing director and principal at BGL said, “We are very happy with the outcome of the capital raise.  By recognizing and marketing a unique debt security structure, we were able to lower ComparisonMarket’s cost of capital and protect its shareholders from dilution.  It was also extremely rewarding to once again work with this dedicated, entrepreneurial management team, and assist them as they build a leading Northeast Ohio-based technology enterprise.”
“BGL demonstrated creativity and tenaciousness in raising the capital in an effective, thorough, and timely manner.  Their proactive involvement enabled our management team to focus on our business, not on the capital markets.  This was especially important given the continued success and growth of ComparisonMarket.  In addition, the fact that BGL was able to arrange financing for our growth capital needs with a creative lower cost debt instrument will be beneficial to all of our shareholders, including our management team and employees,” added Mr. Roush.
In addition to Scott T. Berlin, Michael E. Gibbons, senior managing director and chairman, and Cameron S. Miele, vice president, comprised the BGL transaction team, and William H. Coquillette and Rachel L. Rawson, from Jones Day, served as counsel to ComparisonMarket.
About Brown Gibbons Lang & Company
Brown Gibbons Lang & Company 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 and acquisitions, debt and equity placements, and financial restructurings. BGL is the U.S. partner firm in Global M&A, one of the world’s leading partnerships of top-tier, mid-market, cross-border investment banks. Global M&A was named 2005 Investment Bank of the Year by The M&A Advisor. For more information, please visit www.bglco.com.

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