US Market: Prudential Buys Assurance Health & Wellness Brand

Prudential Financial has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Assurance IQ, Inc., “Assurance,” a profitable, fast-growing direct-to-consumer platform that transforms the buying experience for individuals seeking personalized health and financial wellness solutions.

Terms of the acquisition include a total upfront consideration of $2.35 billion, plus an additional earnout of up to $1.15 billion in cash and equity, contingent upon Assurance achieving multi-year growth objectives.

Using a combination of advanced data science and human expertise, Assurance matches buyers with customized solutions spanning life, health, Medicare and auto insurance, giving them options to purchase entirely online or with the help of a technology-assisted live agent. Assurance’s innovative model also matches consumers with the live agent or specific sales process that is best suited to their needs, resulting in better customer outcomes that drive higher levels of engagement and conversion.

By eliminating the inefficiencies of conventional models, Assurance’s technology-driven, on-demand service platform lowers the cost of customer acquisition, allowing deeper reach into the mass market while maintaining a high level of service and product selection.

“Assurance accelerates the strategy and growth potential of Prudential’s financial wellness businesses, bringing us closer to more people across the entire socio-economic spectrum to better serve the full picture of their needs,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “We look forward to working with Mike Rowell and his entire team to grow the Assurance business in the U.S., and, over time, to extend its unique approach to customers around the world.”

Michael Rowell, co-founder and CEO of Assurance, said, “Assurance was founded to protect and improve the personal and financial health of every individual. Prudential’s shared vision, coupled with the strength of its offering and capabilities, make it the ideal partner with which to begin our next chapter. We are excited to create an ecosystem that reaches more people and new markets with a more expansive suite of products to drive our combined growth.”

Additional details of the transaction include:

  • Under the terms of the agreement, Assurance will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Prudential under the U.S. Businesses division. Assurance co-founders Michael Rowell and Michael Paulus will continue to focus on the growth of Assurance.
  • The acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive to EPS and ROE starting in 2020. In addition to enhancing the growth of Prudential’s financial wellness businesses, the acquisition is expected to generate cost savings of $50 million to $100 million, in addition to the $500 million of expected margin expansion by 2022 discussed at Prudential’s June Investor Day.
  • Prudential plans to use a combination of its current cash, debt financing and equity to fund the acquisition, which is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2019. Prudential’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the transaction.
  • Prudential’s Board of Directors has authorized a $500 million increase to its share repurchase authorization for calendar year 2019. As a result, the share repurchase authorization for the full year 2019 is $2.5 billion. As of June 30, 2019, Prudential had repurchased $1.0 billion of shares of its common stock under this authorization. Prudential expects to fully utilize this increased share repurchase authorization by the end of 2019.
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