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Western & Southern reaches $1.55B deal with Nestlé S.A. to acquire Gerber Life

Brian Anderson

Western & Southern Financial Group has reached an agreement with Nestlé S.A. to acquire Gerber Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Nestlé, for an aggregate purchase price of $1.55 billion, the two parent companies announced Sept. 17.

The purchase includes a long-term license to use Gerber Life intellectual property in connection with financial services. The deal brings a leading direct-to-consumer life insurer and renowned brand to Western & Southern’s diversified family of financial services businesses.

The deal does not include Nestlé’s Gerber products business, the baby food and baby care brand, which Nestlé said it will continue to develop.

Nestlé announced back in February that it was looking for options for Gerber Life, which reported sales of $856 million in 2017. The deal is expected to close late this year or early 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by New York regulatory authorities.

Gerber Life, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., brings its product offerings and focus on protecting families to a Cincinnati-based company that began selling life insurance door to door 130 years ago and is now one of the strongest life insurance groups in the world.

When completed, the acquisition will increase Western & Southern’s assets owned and under management to approximately $77.1 billion.

“We are delighted to welcome Gerber Life to our family,” said John F. Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group. “This iconic and trusted consumer brand is a compelling fit for Western & Southern, which has always been a human institution serving human needs with tailored financial solutions that are easy for our clients to understand. Our two companies share a common mission of providing financial strength and security to the ones we love.”

Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestlé S.A., said, “We are delighted to have found an outstanding new home for Gerber Life at Western & Southern, where it will flourish as part of a larger financial services organization.”

Founded in 1967 as a financially separate affiliate of the Gerber Products Company, “the baby food people,” Gerber Life specializes in providing simplified life insurance products to underserved middle-income families as well as medical stop-loss insurance to small- and medium-sized businesses. Nestlé, the largest food and beverage company in the world, acquired Gerber Products and Gerber Life in 2007.

Gerber Life’s $52 billion of life insurance in force and 3.6 million individual life policies will expand Western & Southern’s policyholder base and enhance its product profile by increasing its ratio of life insurance business to annuity business, Western & Southern said in a statement announcing the deal.

More than 500 associates make up Gerber Life’s workforce, distributed between the company’s headquarters in White Plains and an operations center in Fremont, Mich. Current plans call for all to remain in place.

About Western & Southern Financial Group: Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, and celebrating 130 years this year, Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (Western & Southern), a Fortune 500 company, is now the parent company of a group of diversified financial services businesses. Currently, its assets owned ($48.3 billion) and managed ($26.2 billion) total $74.5 billion as of June 30, 2018. Its six life insurance subsidiaries (The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, The Lafayette Life Insurance Company and National Integrity Life Insurance Company) maintain very strong financial ratings. Other member companies include Eagle Realty Group, LLC; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.1; IFS Financial Services, Inc.; Peppertree Partners LLC1; Touchstone Advisors, Inc.1; Touchstone Securities, Inc.2; W&S Brokerage Services, Inc.2; and W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. For more information on the Western & Southern family of companies, visit www.westernsouthern.com.

1 – A registered investment advisor.

2 – A registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

For current ratings, please visit http://www.westernsouthern.com/industry.asp.

About Gerber Life Insurance Company: Visit www.gerberlife.com

About Nestlé S.A.: Visit www.nestle.com.



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