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Unum to Benefit UK Employees with National Dental Plan

Unum GroupUNM will acquire National Dental Plan to enhance its employee benefits products and services offering in the U.K. The purchase - estimated at $49.5 million (£31.7 million) - is expected to culminate in the third quarter of 2015 subject to approvals.

Upon completion, National Dental Plan will operate as a separate unit under the Unum U.K. business. Unum Group noted that the U.K. dental insurance market offers opportunities to grow in employee benefits. Therefore the addition of National Dental Plan will perfectly complement its portfolio and will be a prudent step in capitalizing on the fast-growing U.K. dental market.

Unum is a leading provider of financial protection benefits and services in the U.S. and U.K. while National Dental Plan is a leading provider of dental insurance in the U.K. Together, these companies can build on their strengths to hasten their growth profile.

The acquisition will help Unum to benefit from National Dental Plan's superior dental coverage, while the latter can gain from Unum's excellent employee benefits distribution system. Unum will retain National Dental Plan's existing 500 corporate customers and 150,000 insured employees, which the company believes will act as a catalyst for growth.

The acquisition is expected to boost Unum U.K.'s results which were soft in the last few quarters. Unum posted weaker-than-expected second-quarter earnings per share as the Unum U.S. and Unum U.K. segments underperformed. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has also moved south in the last 30 days. However, with optimism over the current acquisition, we expect analysts to pull up their estimates.

Unum Group carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked insurers are Employers Holdings, Inc. EIG , Amerisafe, Inc. AMSF and Cigna Corp CI . While Employers Holdings sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Amerisafe and Cigna carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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