iA Financial Corporation Strengthens Individual Insurance Presence in the United States with the Acquisition of Vericity
- Adding an insurance carrier and a digital agency servicing the mid-market life insurance space through the acquisition of Vericity, Inc.
- Growing our sales in the U.S. life insurance market and diversifying distribution
- Strategic value from Vericity’s knowledge and skill in the digital marketing of life insurance
- Expect synergies with iA’s expertise and current U.S. individual insurance operations
- Purchase price of US$170 million; acquisition expected to become accretive during the second year
iA Financial Corporation Inc. (“iA” or the “Company”), the holding company of iA Financial Group (TSX: IAG), announces it has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby iA American Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of the Company, will acquire Vericity, Inc. (“Vericity”) (Nasdaq: VERY).
Vericity comprises two entities servicing the middle-market life insurance space, with synergies in between and combining artificial intelligence and rich data analytics to deliver innovative proprietary technology: Fidelity Life, an insurance carrier1, and eFinancial, a direct-to-consumer digital agency. Vericity employs more than 400 employees.
“With this acquisition, we are adding scale to our already well-established and successful U.S. individual life insurance business and creating value for our shareholders by building on our core insurance and distribution competencies,” said Mike Stickney, Executive Vice-President, Chief Growth Officer U.S. Operations, Co-Head of Acquisitions. “We look forward to working with Vericity to pursue further growth in the U.S. individual life insurance market with the addition of Fidelity Life, while diversifying and complementing our distribution capabilities with direct-to-consumer reach through the eFinancial digital agency.”
The purchase price of US$170 million will be funded by iA with existing cash on hand and is expected to reduce the Company’s solvency ratio by about 3 percentage points. Closing is subject to obtaining the usual regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States, and other customary closing conditions for a transaction of this type. Therefore, the merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024. Stockholders representing more than a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of Vericity common stock have adopted and approved the merger agreement. The transaction is expected to become slightly accretive to core EPS in year 2 and to EPS in year 3.
Vericity, Inc. through its subsidiaries, Fidelity Life Association (“Fidelity Life”) and eFinancial, LLC, (“eFinancial”) is a leader in direct-to-consumer life insurance solutions. As an innovator in product design and distribution, the company makes life insurance affordable and accessible for middle-market consumers. With national call centres, digital and digitally enabled sales and underwriting processes and quick policy issuance, customers can easily get the coverage they need at a price they can afford. Vericity is a publicly traded company with shares listed on NASDAQ (“VERY”) and is majority-owned by J.C. Flowers & Co. For more information, visit www.vericity.com.
Fidelity Life (Illinois-domiciled) serves the middle market space with proprietary and patented products, including term life, final expense, accidental death benefit and a worksite offering. Fidelity Life has built a continuously evolving underwriting platform over many years through innovative solutions and agile deployment. In 2022, Fidelity Life’s total gross written premium was $220M.
eFinancial is a leading online and call centre-based insurance agency, with a nationwide salesforce of 200 agents delivering around 60,000 new insurance policies annually. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, eFinancial distributes policies for Fidelity Life alongside more than 20 other life insurers, utilizing a unique platform.
This document may contain statements relating to strategies used by iA Financial Group or statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “suspect”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “estimate” and “continue” (or the negative thereof), as well as words such as “objective”, “goal”, “guidance”, “outlook” and “forecast”, or other similar words or expressions. Such statements constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities laws. In this document, forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, information concerning the closing and the closing date of the transaction and future operating results. These statements are not historical facts; they represent only expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and are subject to change.
Although iA Financial Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements.
More specifically, the transaction is subject to the following risks and uncertainties: (i) that Vericity and iA may be unable to complete the proposed transaction because, among other reasons, conditions to the closing of the proposed transaction may not be satisfied or waived, including that a governmental authority may prohibit, delay or refuse to grant approval for the consummation of the transaction; (ii) uncertainty as to the timing of completion of the proposed transaction; (iii) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; and (iv) whether and to what extent iA would realize the expected benefits of the transaction.
Additional information about the material factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and about material factors or assumptions applied in making forward-looking statements may be found in the “Risk Management” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for 2022, the “Management of Risks Associated with Financial Instruments” note to the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, the “Risk Management – Update” section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the periods ended March 31 and June 30, 2023 and elsewhere in iA Financial Group’s filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which are available for review at sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements in this document reflect iA Financial Group’s expectations as of the date of this document. iA Financial Group does not undertake to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.
1 Fidelity Life is licensed in all states and D.C. except for New York and Wyoming.