Gerber Life would be a good fit for middle income life and health insurer Torchmark, a company executive said recently.
Gerber Life targets young families on a limited budget through a captive distribution channel.
“It does have controlled distribution, so I think at least at this point in time we’d be interested, but to our knowledge no process has started at this point in time,” said Torchmark co-chairman and CEO Gary Coleman in a call with analysts.
Gerber's appeal had drawn interest from other corporate giants as well.
Nestle’s board of directors looked at options for Gerber Life, including a potential sale, according to news reports, as the Switzerland-based food and beverage giant alters its product portfolio in search of higher growth.
Gerber Life, a financially separate affiliate of the Gerber Products Co., manufacturer of baby foods, sells term and whole life as well as accident protection products.
The insurer had sales of $908 million last year.
Torchmark, based in McKinney, Texas, is a holding company specializing in life and supplemental health insurance for the middle market sold through distribution channels that include direct response, and exclusive and independent agencies.
Torchmark could borrow more than $600 million to fund any potential future acquisitions, Torchmark executives said.
Middle income market life insurers with captive distribution selling similar products to Torchmark tend to generate strong cash flows, Torchmark executives said.
Torchmark on Wednesday reported first-quarter net income of $174.6 million.
On a per-share basis the company said it had net income of $1.49.
The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.46 per share.
The life and health insurance company posted revenue of $1.07 billion in the period.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
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