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Capita buys Bluefin for £50m cash

Paul Pindar

London: Capita plc, the hyper-acquisitive public sector and BPO specialist, is to acquire Bluefin Corporate Holdings Limited, which trades as Bluefin Corporate Consulting, from insurance group AXA, for a cash consideration of £50 million on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

Bluefin Corporate Consulting provides employee benefits consultancy to medium and large corporations. In addition to its consultancy services, Bluefin has developed award-winning benefits management technology, which supports the delivery of an increasing number of services across the group and is used by more than 150 clients with over 80,000 employees.

It made a pro forma operating profit for its financial year to 31 December 2011 of £5.3 million on turnover of £51 million.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Pindar, chief executive of Capita plc said, 'The acquisition of Bluefin Corporate Consulting provides an excellent strategic fit with our existing corporate pensions business, Capita Hartshead. Already a leading provider of pensions administration, Capita Hartshead also provides actuarial and investment consultancy, data analysis, pensions communications and mortality screening. Bluefin Corporate Consulting provides pensions
administration, actuarial and investment consulting services alongside a market-leading presence in online benefits technology, insured pensions, flexible benefits and health and risk benefit consulting. Combining the businesses will create a compelling proposition for both existing and new clients.'

The deal will also see Bluefin Corporate Consulting's chief executive, Nick Burns, become chief executive of the combined business, working with Mike Addenbrooke as non executive chairman.

Commenting on the deal, Nick Burns said, 'Clients want to work with talented people who really understand and care about them. I believe that Capita Hartshead's strength in pensions administration, actuarial and consulting, together with Bluefin's award-winning employee benefits expertise and market-leading online technology, will combine to deliver a wide range of client services. With the full backing of a FTSE 100 company, this new business will be able to provide genuinely innovative solutions to the rapidly evolving and increasingly dynamic employee benefits market.'

Bluefin Corporate Consulting employs 548 people, principally in London and across 8 further offices throughout the UK.

The acquisition excludes the general insurance and wealth management arms of Bluefin and is subject to approval by the FSA.

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