Willis Group Holdings plc
) will take over a 75% equity interest in Max Matthiessen for $205
million. This deal underlines the company's efforts to strengthen
its presence in Sweden.
Sweden-based Max Matthiessen is a leading employee benefits advisor
in retirement savings, health plans and personal insurance and has
been a Willis' strategic partner for five years. Its employees and
Altor Fund III equally own Max Matthiessen. Following the
acquisition, a 25% stake will remain with the employees and Willis
will have a 75% interest for a consideration $205 million (of 1.357
billion Swedish Kronor). A strong financial position well supports
the company's strategic acquisitions.
The acquisition will help Willis solidify its global Human Capital
and Benefits practice besides ramping up its inorganic growth
profile. In addition, the combined entity will emerge as the
biggest risk advisor and broker in the Nordic region and the
leading international advisor in Sweden.
While Willis will deploy Max Matthiessen's employee benefits
product portfolio to leverage its presence in and beyond Sweden,
Max Matthiessen will benefit from Willis' international exposure.
This in turn will improve operational performance mutually.
Willis Group and its subsidiaries have been adopting an inorganic
route to expand business and their global footprint to boost their
growth trajectory. Willis Group announced that it will acquire
Charles Monat Limited, a market-leading life insurance solutions
advisor in January. Willis North America acquired Alabama-based
Capital Strategies Group, Inc., an employee-benefits consulting
division of Birmingham. The Charles Monat takeover will help Willis
to boost its international presence, in particular Asia, with the
Global Wealth Solutions practice of the former.
Willis presently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). With a
dismal first-quarter performance wherein the bottom line missed
both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and year-ago number, the stock
witnessed a downward revision in estimates. However, with optimism
surrounding the current acquisition, we expect analysts to raise
their estimates exerting upward pressure on Zacks Rank.
Other insurance brokers who recently acquired equity interest in
other companies include Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc
Brown & Brown, Inc
Arthur J Gallagher & Co
). Arthur J Gallagher & Co. has inked a deal to take over an
87% stake in Noraxis Capital Corporation from RSA Insurance Group
plc for $400.3 million to strengthen its presence in Canada. Marsh
& McLennan Agency has acquired Friendswood, TX-based VISICOR, a
full-service employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm. Brown
& Brown, Inc. acquired the operating assets of Pacific
Resources Benefits Advisors, LLC.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
GALLAGHER ARTHU (AJG): Free Stock Analysis
BROWN & BROWN (BRO): Free Stock Analysis
MARSH &MCLENNAN (MMC): Free Stock Analysis
WILLIS GP HLDGS (WSH): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.