Huddersfield’s SimplyBiz to buy £74m fintech Defaqto

Huddersfield-based SimplyBiz, a provider of compliance services to financial advisers, said it conditionally agreed to acquire fintech firm Defaqto for £74.3 million.

SimplyBiz said Defaqto is a leading financial services technology business operating a fintech platform for 8,500 advisers and providing independent ratings of 21,000 financial products and funds, licensed by 230 brands.

To help finance the deal, SimplyBiz plans to raise about £29 million through share placings and take on about £37.5 million of new bank debt.

Neil Stevens and Matt Timmins, joint CEOs of The SimplyBiz Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the successful acquisition of Defaqto, which will play an important role in building on the group strong momentum and enabling us to unlock a wide range of additional growth opportunities.

“The combination of the largest provider of outsourced regulatory and business support to the retail financial services market, with one of the leading providers of financial information and technology, will create a market leading platform across retail financial services.

“Collectively the two businesses will work to enhance our proposition to the banking and general insurance sectors whilst continuing to invest in the leading fintech platform.

“Having long respected the Defaqto management team, we also recognise not just the strong strategic fit of the business, but also its cultural alignment.

“Defaqto is a business built upon industry leading talent and we look forward to working with our new colleagues as we continue to enhance services to financial intermediaries and product providers, and deliver value for shareholders.”

Defaqt CEO Zahid Bilgrami said: “We are absolutely delighted with SimplyBiz’s decision to acquire Defaqto.

“It opens an exciting new chapter in our development as a leading financial information business, and we look forward to the many opportunities that being part of a larger group will present.

“While i t will enable us to continue operating in an independent and autonomous manner, it will also carry many advantages of being a part of a listed entity.

“It will enable us to develop new technology faster, and thus continue to develop market-leading products for our clients at a time of vast technological change in the financial services sector.”