MetLife to acquire vision-care benefits company Versant Health for $1.6bn


MetLife acquisition of Versant Health : US life insurance giant MetLife has signed an all-cash deal worth around $1.675 billion to acquire Versant Health, a vision-care benefits company, from an investor consortium comprising Centerbridge Partners, FFL Partners, and others.

Versant Health is the owner of vision care benefits company Davis Vision and vision care solutions provider Superior Vision.

MetLife said that it sees considerable potential in the US managed vision care market as more than 90% of employees are interested in getting vision insurance through their employer.

The US life insurance giant believes that the acquisition will bolster and differentiate its vision benefit offering with one of the industry’s largest networks of providers and plan options.

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Post-acquisition, MetLife will get access to the nearly 35 million members of Versant Health. On the other hand, MetLife’s existing customers will get access to the latter’s extensive provider network.

Commenting on MetLife acquisition of Versant Health, Michel Khalaf – MetLife President and CEO said: “This transaction furthers our goal of deploying capital to the highest-value opportunities.

“We are pleased to welcome Versant Health, a well-run and well-respected leader in vision care, to the MetLife family. In Versant, we have found the right strategic fit with our group benefits business. We expect this combination to accelerate revenue growth while delivering greater value for our customers and shareholders.”

MetLife acquisition of Versant Health

MetLife acquisition of Versant Health. Photo courtesy of PortableNYCTours/Wikimedia Commons

The acquisition also builds on the recent expansions of MetLife’s product suite into pet insurance, health savings and spending accounts, and digital estate planning. As a result, it further strengthens its role as the partner of choice for employers across the US, said MetLife.

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Ramy Tadros – President of US Business for MetLife, commenting on MetLife acquisition of Versant Health, said: “We are confident this acquisition will make our market-leading group benefits business even more attractive.

“The addition of the strong Davis Vision and Superior Vision brands will immediately establish MetLife as a leader in managed vision care. We look forward to offering our customers the exceptional member experiences that Versant provides.”

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The deal is likely to close in Q4 2020 should it get regulatory approvals and meet other customary closing conditions.

For MetLife, the financial advisor for the deal is CapM Advisors, while Sidley Austin LLP is the legal counsel. Versant Health’s financial advisor for the deal is Barclays and Centerview Partners, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher is serving as the legal counsel.

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