Assurant to Buy French Mobile Device Insurance Broker CWI

October 28, 2014

Consumer electronic and household device insurer Assurant Inc. has made a binding offer to acquire CWI Group, a mobile insurance brokerage in France, for approximately €56 million ($71 million).

The acquisition by Assurant Solutions would strengthen Assurant’s capabilities in mobile device protection and expand its distribution into independent retailers and the financial services affinity market in Europe.

CWI Group, founded in 2001, generates approximately €31 million ($39 million) in annualized revenue. The company protects approximately 420,000 mobile insurance devices, with policies sold in retail, independent and franchise telephone stores, and mobile phone companies. CWI Group also supports global financial brands in offering ancillary protection plans to around 30 million cardholders.

“European companies and consumers continue to lead the way in digital innovation. By leveraging our leadership position in the UK and the expanded capabilities of CWI Group, we plan to help an increasing number of consumers remain connected with their digital lives,” said Craig Lemasters, president and CEO of Assurant Solutions. “CWI Group’s experience in the French mobile market will provide us with a competitive advantage in the region and further strengthen our global presence.”

Headquartered in Aix-en-Provence, CWI Group would continue to be led by co-founder and president Julien Naquet and its current management team, according to the announcement.

The proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2014.

The CWI Group offer by Assurant Solutions comes a week after Assurant Specialty Property, another business segment of Assurant Inc., agreed to sell its general agency business and associated insurance carrier, American Reliable Insurance Co., to Global Indemnity Group Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Dublin-based Global Indemnity, for approximately $114 million in cash.

American Reliable writes specialty personal lines and agricultural property and casualty insurance through general and independent agents. Its product lines include manufactured housing, watercraft, recreational vehicles, farm and ranch, and federal flood insurance. American Reliable recorded $250 million of net earned premiums in 2013.

Assurant has approximately $30 billion in assets, $9 billion in annual revenue and 17,500 employees worldwide. Assurant has four key businesses — Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health and Assurant Employee Benefits.

Assurant Solutions businesses underwrite and administer specialty insurance including mobile device protection and extended service contracts through relationships with mobile carriers, electronic goods and household appliance manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions, automobile dealers, funeral homes and other entities. With operations in 25 locations worldwide, the Assurant Solutions executive offices are based in Atlanta.

CWI Group is an insurance brokerage firm specializing in affinity insurance in France, second market player of affinity insurance in France. Based in Aix-en-Provence, it was founded in 2001 and has annual sales of €31 million with over 170 employees.

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