The busiest acquirer you haven't heard ofAugust 20, 2013: 12:08 PM ET
Confie Seguros has bought 12 companies in the past nine months.
FORTUNE -- When you think about voracious corporate acquirers, it's probably a tech giant like Cisco (CSCO) or Yahoo (YHOO). But neither of them can hold a candle to a privately-held insurance upstart named Confie Seguros, which has acquired a whopping 55 companies since being founded in 2007.
If you haven't heard heard of Confie Seguros, you probably will soon. The company is now generating more than $200 million in annual revenue and employees more than 2,000 people in nine states. It also plans to begin to begin expanding beyond its original mandate to focus on Hispanic customers, into a national personal lines broker.
The Buena Park, Calif.-based company was originally formed by private equity firm Genstar Capital, which saw a big consolidation opportunity within a fragmented Hispanic-focused market that was dominated by small mom-and-pop shops. Genstar committed an initial $75 million -- bolstered by an additional $200 million bank facility -- and Confie Seguros was launched via the acquisition of a Southern California auto insurance business called Westline. It then went on to acquire another 43 companies before being sold by Genstar to ABRY Partners last November.
Basically a hub-and-spoke model, with each addition expected to increase market share by leveraging the broader company.
Since being acquired by ABRY, Confie Seguros has been in overdrive. Twelve new acquisitions, nine signed letters of intent and a pipeline of ten more LOIs that the company plans to have signed by year-end. It also is expecting to enter five new states over the next 12 months.
Confie Seguros co-founder Mordy Rothberg explains that the acquisition pace has been enabled by three things: (1) Continued market fragmentation in areas where Confie Seguros has not yet entered; (2) The continuing reality that Hispanics are underserved when it comes to financial services; and (3) Its private equity ownership.
"I would pick partnering with private equity any day of the week rather than going public," he explains. "We're able to have a longer-term approach and don't need to spend management's time speaking with a large group of investors."
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