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Life Health > Life Insurance

Investment Firm To Acquire Control Over Life Of The South

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Summit Partners L.P. is helping the founders of a southeastern insurance company cash out.

Summit Partners, Boston, a private equity firm, is buying about 85% of the stock of Life of the South Corp., Jacksonville, Fla., a privately held company, the companies say.

The transaction “has been valued at more than $100 million,” according to Summit Partners.

N.G. Houston III, chairman of Life of the South, formed the company as Houston National Life in 1978. He renamed the company and moved the company’s official state of domicile to Georgia, from Arizona, in 1982, according to Summit Partners.

The company now sells life insurance policies, disability insurance policies and other policies designed to insure the ability of consumers to pay off loans and meet other types of financial obligations.

Houston and Lloyd Shaw, president of Life of the South, plan to retire once the Summit Partners transaction closes, according to Summit Partners.

K. Ned Hamil, who has been president of Life of the South, will become chairman, and Richard Kalbaugh, the chief operating officer, will become the president, Summit Partners says.

The new Life of the South senior managers will hold about 15% of the company’s stock, and the company’s location, personnel and business model will remain unchanged, Summit Partners says.

Three representatives from Summit Partners will join the Life of the South board.

In addition to providing cash for the founding shareholders and their families, the Summit Partners deal will provide capital that Life of the South can use to grow, Summit Partners says.

Life of the South has been expanding over the years, and it now holds life and property-casualty licenses in 40 states.


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