Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ), a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its pre-arranged funeral insurance and final expense business, Global Preneed, and related legal entities and assets to CUNA Mutual Group, a broad financial services provider, for approximately $1.3 billion in cash. As part of today’s announcement, Assurant also outlined an enhanced capital deployment plan and its outlook for 2021.
“This transaction represents a successful outcome for all of our stakeholders, including our Global Preneed employees, clients, partners, policyholders and shareholders,” said Assurant President and CEO Alan Colberg. “The sale of Global Preneed is another important milestone in our transformation of Assurant, sharpening our focus on our market-leading lifestyle and housing businesses, and better positioning our company to capitalize on future growth opportunities emerging around the connected consumer.”
The Global Preneed sale is expected to generate approximately $1.2 billion of net proceeds at closing, which is expected to occur by the end of the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The company intends to return 75 percent of the net proceeds to shareholders through share repurchases within one year of closing, subject to Board approval. This is in addition to returning $470 million via share repurchases and common stock dividends under the company’s existing three-year, $1.35 billion capital return plan, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
The company intends to invest the remaining transaction proceeds primarily in its connected world businesses, comprising Connected Living, Global Automotive and Multifamily Housing, to support long-term profitable growth and further strengthen its competitive position.
With the sale expected to close later this year, Assurant and CUNA Mutual Group will focus on an orderly transition. Upon closing, Global Preneed will be managed as an independent business with existing Preneed employees remaining at their current locations. Continuing their 23-year partnership, CUNA Mutual Group and Assurant also finalized a multi-year agreement to provide ongoing vehicle service contract support to their customers in connection with the transaction.
“This acquisition allows us to expand the ways we reach middle-market consumers, helping more people make financial decisions that work for them,” said Robert N. Trunzo, President and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group. “The Global Preneed business is a true strategic fit for us, further diversifying our product offerings complemented by a strong financial standing with over $7 billion in total assets. We are excited to welcome Global Preneed’s talented employees to our team and to serve even more consumers together.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP as legal advisor to Assurant. Perella Weinberg Partners served as financial advisor and Foley & Lardner LLP as legal advisor to CUNA Mutual Group.