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Thomas H. Lee Group Agrees to Buy a Majority Stake in AmeriLife

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An investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P., a private equity firm, has agreed to buy a majority stake in AmeriLife Group LLC from another private equity firm, J.C. Flowers & Company LLC, AmeriLife announced today..

(Related: Life and Annuity Distributor Arranges $395 Million in Financing)

AmeriLife is a Clearwater, Florida-based life, health and annuity distributor that has relationships with about 140,000 insurance producers and advisors and 20 marketing organizations.

AmeriLife says it has entered into a recapitalization agreement with the Thomas H. Lee investor group.

The transaction should close by about March 31, according to AmeriLife.

The parties are not saying how much Thomas H. Lee expects to pay.

AmeriLife’s History

Gary Boesch founded AmeriLife founded in 1971. Private investors bought the company in 2007. J.C. Flowers acquired control in 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, J.C. Flowers helped AmeriLife issue about $7.7 million in stock, according to notices filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

AmeriLife reported in June that it had replaced old credit facilities with new credit facilities that could provide up to $395 million in financing.

AmeriLife announced in July that it was buying a majority stake in Brookstone Capital Management, and it announced in December that it had agreed to buy Agent Support Group Inc.

Scott Perry is AmeriLife’s chief executive officer.

The Thomas H. Lee Investor Group

Thomas H. Lee is based in Boston and was founded in 1974. It has helped companies raise about $25 billion in equity capital.

The Thomas H. Lee investor group acquiring the majority stake in AmeriLife includes Cannae Holdings and other Thomas H. Lee limited partners.

Cannae Holding is a Las Vegas-based holding company that started out as an investment management arm of Fidelity National Financial Inc., a title insurer. Fidelity National and Cannae Holdings became separate companies in 2017.

The Future

Statements issued in connection with the Thomas H. Lee investor group deal appear to suggest that AmeriLife could come out of the deal with the capacity to make acquisitions of its own.

Scott Perry, AmeriLife’s chief executive officer, said in a comment included in the deal announcement that the Thomas H. Lee deal will help support AmeriLife’s next phase of growth.

Thomas H. Lee’s “deep industry expertise and financial and operational resources will enhance AmeriLife’s capabilities and provide financial flexibility to accelerate our growth,” Perry said.

AmeriLife has focused on expanding Medicare product distribution capabilities and on expanding other channels for meeting the financial needs of pre-retirees and retirees, according to the deal announcement.

Ganesh Rao, a managing director at Thomas H. Lee, said in a comment of his own that AmeriLife is “poised for further growth and expansion.”

Rao said Thomas H. Lee looks forward to supporting AmeriLife’s mission of providing clients with life, health, wealth management and retirement planning solutions.

— Read AmeriLife Buys Majority Stake in Agent Support Group, on ThinkAdvisor.

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