Carlyle Makes Insurance Move With Sedgwick Buy

In a $6 billion deal, the private-equity firm will replace KKR as the majority owner of Sedgwick, the largest U.S. insurance claims service provider.
Matthew HellerSeptember 12, 2018

Carlyle Group is making another investment in the insurance sector, agreeing to acquire a majority stake in claims manager Sedgwick in a deal valued at about $6.7 billion.

Sedgwick is the largest U.S. insurance claims service provider, processing more than 3.6 million claims a year for a wide range of insurance product lines, including workers’ compensation, general liability and disability.

Carlyle will replace another private-equity powerhouse, KKR, as Sedgwick’s majority owner, after reportedly making a higher offer than buyout firm Hellman & Friedman. Funds managed by Stone Point Capital and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, together with Sedgwick management, will remain minority investors.

“[Sedgwick CEO] Dave North and Sedgwick’s world-class management team have built the company into an industry leader over the last two decades,” Stephen Wise, global head of healthcare for Carlyle, said in a news release.

“We are excited to collaborate with Sedgwick, which has distinguished itself by constantly improving the claims management and loss adjusting process to the benefit of all key stakeholders, including its colleagues, customers, insurance companies and brokers.”

The insurance sector has become an attractive target for private-equity firms, offering a steady source of capital for their own investments. Apollo Global Management, for example, is the majority owner of annuities giant Athene.

Carlyle agreed in August to buy nearly 20% of reinsurance business DSA Re from American International Group. Its other insurance investments include a majority stake in wholesale broker JenCap Holdings.

KKR took over Sedgwick in 2014 in a $2.4 billion deal. Since then, as Reuters reports, it has been expanding beyond North America and, with the acquisition of loss adjuster Cunningham Lindsey earlier this year, it now has a footprint in more than 60 countries.

“We look forward to partnering with Carlyle on developing and delivering innovative solutions for our clients around the world,” North said.

Equity capital for Carlyle’s investment will come from Carlyle Partners VII, an $18.5 billion fund that focuses on buyout transactions in the U.S., and Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners III LP, a dedicated financial services buyout fund.