Global health services company Cigna announced that it has agreed to acquire FirstAssist Insurance Services, a travel and protection insurance company based in the UK, from Barclays Private Equity.
Cigna said the “acquisition will add a new product line to Cigna’s extensive global portfolio, enabling the company to expand its individual business in the UK and around the world.”
Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in 2011. Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced.
FirstAssist has nearly 3 million policy holders in the UK. It specializes in providing products and services that protect customers and their families against unexpected events through travel, health, employment and legal-related insurance.
Cigna noted that, “with travel in major European and Asian markets up an average of eight percent in 2010,” it sees “an opportunity to expand this business on a worldwide scale.”
The deal would combine FirstAssist’s products, services and distribution partners with Cigna’s “direct marketing operations, global medical network, successful affinity business model, and broad array of supplemental health, life and accident products,” said the announcement.
William L. Atwell, president of Cigna International, indicated that the “acquisition closely aligns with our growth strategy and mission to help the customers we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security.” He also welcomed “FirstAssist’s 480 employees and their strategic business partners to Cigna.
‘FirstAssist’s strong presence in the UK complements our position as an industry leader with a broad global network of health care providers and direct marketing expertise in Europe and across Asia-Pacific,’ Atwell added. “FirstAssist and Cigna clients and customers will benefit through an expanded range of products from a trusted brand.’
Martin Totty, managing director of FirstAssist, noted: ‘FirstAssist has made great strides in the travel insurance sector and will benefit further from Cigna’s long-term commitment to growth. As part of Cigna, we will now have access to wider distribution, additional product lines and the opportunity to extend our offerings to other Cigna markets.”
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