ECI announces sale of Bionic delivering a 4.8x return

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We’re delighted to announce the successful sale of Bionic, the leading marketplace in the UK for SME services, to OMERS Private Equity, generating a return of 4.8x following a five-year partnership.

Bionic is the smart way for Britain’s SMEs to sort their business essentials such as energy, connectivity, insurance and finance. Their tech-enabled experts make life easier for small business owners, removing the faff and saving them time and money.

Bionic successfully made six acquisitions during our investment and it will continue to deliver on this buy and build strategy with OMERS to further expand its capability and offering to customers. ECI partnered with Bionic in 2017 when it was still called Make it Cheaper. Since then the business has significantly transformed; rebranding to Bionic, building out product offerings, increasing routes to market and investing in market-leading digital propositions and technology. The team has also continued to build on their fantastic employee experience, with Bionic achieving a successful 7th place ranking in the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.

On behalf of the team at Bionic, I would like to thank ECI for their support over the last 5 years. During this time, we have transformed Bionic to become the leading platform for SME essential services. But we want to go even further, making life radically easier for small business owners. From our very first meeting with OMERS it was clear there was a strong cultural alignment and passion for the customers we serve. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with OMERS to take Bionic to the next level.

Paul Galligan

CEO, Bionic

This is ECI’s 10th exit in the last 12 months, delivering an average return of 4.2x and £1.3bn of proceeds.

When we invested in 2017, we could see the amazing opportunity that Bionic, or Make it Cheaper as it was then, had in the UK SME market. A fantastic service experience enabled by tech, data and insight, and solving a key need for the vast number of SMEs in the market. It’s been great to see how the team have delivered on that opportunity with rapid growth, but also building a sustainable business that customers come back to time and time again. We wish them every success for the future with OMERS.

Richard Chapman

Partner, ECI Partners

M&A: Houlihan Lokey
Finance and Tax: EY
Legal: Addleshaw Goddard
Commercial DD: PwC
Political and Regulatory DD: WA Communications

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