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Will Establish MetLife as Top-Three Player1 in U.S. Managed Vision Care Industry

Will Further Strengthen MetLife’s Position as Leader in U.S. Group Benefits

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Versant Health from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and including FFL Partners for approximately $1.675 billion in an all-cash transaction. Versant Health owns the well-established marketplace brands Davis Vision and Superior Vision.

With more than 90 percent of employees interested in receiving vision insurance through their employer2, MetLife sees significant potential in the U.S. managed vision care market. The transaction will strengthen and differentiate MetLife’s vision benefit offering with one of the industry’s broadest networks of providers and plan options. Following the acquisition, MetLife will gain access to Versant Health’s roughly 35 million members, and MetLife’s existing customers will gain access to Versant Health’s extensive provider network, which is one of the largest in the industry.

“This transaction furthers our goal of deploying capital to the highest-value opportunities,” said MetLife President and CEO Michel Khalaf. “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 is a market leader in the U.S. Group Benefits space with an estimated market share of 15 percent3. MetLife’s Group Benefits business offers over 35 group products and services—the most in the industry—and serves approximately 41 million U.S. employees and their dependents. This transaction will build on MetLife’s recent expansions of its product suite into pet insurance, digital estate planning, and health savings and spending accounts, further strengthening the company’s role as the partner of choice for employers across the country. MetLife has offered group vision insurance since 2012 and with the addition of Versant Health will serve roughly 38 million members.

“We are confident this acquisition will make our market-leading group benefits business even more attractive,” said Ramy Tadros, President of U.S. Business for MetLife. “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.”

This transaction is targeted to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

CapM Advisors acted as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to MetLife in connection with this transaction. Barclays and Centerview Partners, LLC acted as financial advisors and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal counsel to Versant Health in connection with this transaction.

Transaction Highlights

Transaction

  • Acquiring 100% of Versant Health from private investor group
  • Purchase price of $1.675 billion in cash

Strong

Strategic Fit

  • Adds established product to our industry leading Group Benefits platform
  • MetLife will become 3rd largest U.S. vision insurer by membership
  • Meaningful revenue synergies with MetLife

Attractive

Financially

  • Expected to be accretive to EPS* and free cash flow
  • High teens expected internal rate of return
  • Low capital intensity and predictable underwriting

Financing

  • Cash on hand
  • Expect to complete current buyback authorization by year-end 2020

Timing

  • Targeted to close in Q4 2020
  • Subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions
 

* Adjusted earnings per common share.

Conference Call

MetLife will hold a conference call and audio webcast today at 8:30 a.m. (ET) to discuss the company’s acquisition of Versant Health. The conference call will be available live via telephone and the internet. To listen via telephone, dial 844-291-6362 (U.S.) or 234-720-6995 (outside the U.S.). The access code is 341913. To listen to the conference call via the internet, visit www.metlife.com through a link on the Investor Relations page. Those who want to listen to the call via telephone or the internet should dial in or go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, and/or download and install any necessary audio software.

MetLife has made presentation materials to which it will refer during the conference call available on MetLife Investor Relations website at www.metlife.com, and in a Current Report on Form 8-K furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The conference call will be available for replay via telephone and the internet beginning at 10:30 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, until Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). To listen to a replay of the conference call via telephone, dial 866-207-1041 (U.S.) or 402-970-0847 (outside the U.S.). The access code for the replay is 3845855. To access the replay of the conference call over the internet, visit the above-mentioned website.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The forward-looking statements in this news release, such as “expect,” “goal,” “look forward,” “potential,” and “will,” are based on assumptions and expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, including the “Risk Factors” MetLife, Inc. describes in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. MetLife’s future results could differ, and it has no obligation to correct or update any of these statements.

1 Internal analysis based on publicly available information and internal data.

2 https://www.metlife.com/ebts2020
3 Based on 2019 U.S. annualized in-force premiums, LIMRA.

Contacts

Media Contact: Ashia Razzaq, 212-578-1538

Investor Contact: John Hall, 212-578-7888

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