Towers Watson will spend $215 million to buy Liazon Corp., a 6-year-old company that operates private health insurance exchanges for employer-sponsored benefit plans.
Towers Watson (NYSE:TW) says it is acquiring the Buffalo, N.Y.-based company to expand its presence in the private exchange sector.
Liazon was founded in 2007 and operates the Bright Choices Exchange. It has about 120 full-time employees.
The venture capital arm of Bain Capital — a private equity firm that Mitt Romney started — helped find $12.6 million in financing for Liazon in April 2011. In April 2012, Liazon announced that it had raised another $18.2 million in funding.
Liazon has been active in helping employers set up “defined contribution health plans” — programs to give employees cash and let them pick their own coverage from a website that offers a menu of plan options.
Ashok Subramanian, the chief executive officer, and Alan Cohen, a co-founder and chief strategy officer, told LifeHealthPro in September 2012 that their company was providing exchange programs for 2,000 employers with a total of about 50,000 enrollees in two dozen states.