Equistone

21 December 2016

Equistone and the managing shareholders of Finizy / Meilleurtaux.com begin exclusive negotiations with Goldman Sachs

Equistone Partners Europe and the managing shareholders of Finizy / Meilleurtaux.com have entered into exclusive negotiations with Goldman Sachs for the disposal of their majority stake.

Finizy Group and its principal company Meilleurtaux.com, a leading broker and comparison service for bank loans, insurance and other financial services in the French market, were seeking to restructure their capital to facilitate a new phase of growth.

Following a process that attracted more than a dozen potential investors, funds and industrial players, the international investment bank Goldman Sachs and its investment funds were chosen. These funds have already invested in a variety of highly innovative companies active in the fields of insurance and retail lending.

Investment firm Equistone Partners Europe acquired Meilleurtaux.com in April 2013 and, with Management, undertook an ambitious project to accelerate the company’s growth. In addition to developing the traditional credit brokering and comparison business, five bolt-on acquisitions were made under Equistone’s ownership, enabling the company’s expansion into new areas of the financial services market. These included the acquisition of Choisir-ma-banque in 2014 (since renamed meilleurebanque.com) and Préféo in early 2016. Préféo was renamed meilleurtauxsolutions.com and introduced an offer of debt consolidation solutions. In addition, Meilleurtaux.com launched meilleurtauxpro.com in January 2016 to focus on business financing, and acquired MerciHenri.com / LeComparateurAssurance.com, since renamed meilleureassurance.com, in October 2016.

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe, commented:
“The remarkable performance of Meilleurtaux.com over these past four years testifies to Equistone's ability to guide the development of the companies in which we invest. We are proud to have supported Meilleurtaux.com since early 2013. Under Equistone’s ownership, the company grew quickly both organically and through five bolt-on acquisitions which enabled the development and diversification of the company’s services.”

A web-based company since its creation, Meilleurtaux.com has become a veritable “trusted third party” and a major player in the French market. In 2015, the company negotiated €7.2 billion in new mortgages on behalf of its clients. With nearly 3 million unique visits on its website per month, meilleurtaux.com has grown to become a leading French comparator of loans, both online and through its branches. Meilleurtaux.com and Finizy Group also provide retail clients with comprehensive information, comparison and intermediation services for a large range of financial products.

“We are looking for support from a new investor who can guide us in our rapid growth, online and at our branches, to better serve our clients and our banking and insurance partners,” explained Hervé Hatt, CEO of holding company Finizy (Meilleurtaux.com).