A Jar of Gerber baby food sits on a table top in a photographer's studio in West Orange, New Jersey, Thursday, April 12, 2007. The worldÕs largest food company, Nestle, plans to purchase baby food giant Gerber for $5.5 billion in cash. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News (Photo: Emile Wamsteker/BB)

Western & Southern Financial Group announced the completion of its purchase Gerber Life Insurance Company Wednesday.

Western & Southern paid $1.55 billion to acquire the company from a unit of Nestlé S.A.

Officially, the deal closed on Dec. 31, 2018.

The deal includes “a long-term license to use certain Gerber Life intellectual property, including the Gerber Life name and Gerber baby logo, in connection with certain financial services,” Western & Southern said.

(Related: Western & Southern Agrees to Acquire Gerber Life From Nestlé)

Western & Southern is a Cincinnati-based life insurer that was founded in 1888. The company is a major writer of life insurance and annuities, and it controls or manages about $75 billion in assets.

The History

Gerber Life is a White Plains, New York-based offshoot of the Gerber Products baby food maker.

The baby food maker was founded in 1927, in Michigan. The baby food maker began selling life insurance in 1967.

Nestlé itself acquired Gerber Products from Novartis, a pharmaceutical maker, in 2007, for $5.5 billion.

Gerber Life now has 3.6 million individual life policies in force, with average value of about $14,000 in death benefits per policy.

Gerber Life

Gerber Life’s advertisements for life insurance for babies and children may be some of the few ads for life insurance that middle-market and lower-income U.S. consumers see.

In addition to offering simplified issue life insurance, Gerber Life offers medical stop-loss insurance.

The company has about 500 employees in the White Plains main office and in an operations center in Fremont, Michigan.

“Current plans call for all to remain in place,” Western & Southern said.

Resources

Western & Southern has posted a copy of the deal closing announcement here.

Correction: An earlier version of this article described the closing date of the Gerber Life deal incorrectly. The official closing date is Dec. 31, 2018.

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