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MetLife to Acquire Versant Health, Owner of Davis Vision and Superior Vision, in $1.68B Deal

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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NEW YORK — MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) is acquiring Versant Health, owner of Davis Vision and Superior Vision.

MetLife (NYSE: MET) is buying the company for $1.68 billion from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and including FFL Partners.

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With more than 90 percent of employees interested in receiving vision insurance through their employer, MetLife sees significant potential in the U.S. managed vision care market, according to a press release announcing the deal. The transaction “will strengthen and differentiate MetLife’s vision benefit offering with one of the industry’s broadest networks of providers and plan options.”

Following the acquisition, MetLife will gain access to Versant Health’s roughly 35 million members, and MetLife’s existing customers will gain access to Versant Health’s provider network, which is one of the largest in the industry.

“This transaction furthers our goal of deploying capital to the highest-value opportunities,” said MetLife President and CEO Michel Khalaf. “We are pleased to welcome Versant Health, a well-run and well-respected leader in vision care, to the MetLife family. In Versant, we have found the right strategic fit with our group benefits business. We expect this combination to accelerate revenue growth while delivering greater value for our customers and shareholders.”

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MetLife is a market leader in the U.S. group benefits space with an estimated market share of 15 percent. MetLife’s Group Benefits business offers over 35 group products and services and serves approximately 41 million U.S. employees and their dependents. This transaction will build on MetLife’s recent expansions of its product suite into pet insurance, digital estate planning and health savings and spending accounts. MetLife has offered group vision insurance since 2012 and with the addition of Versant Health will serve roughly 38 million members.

“We are confident this acquisition will make our market-leading group benefits business even more attractive,” said Ramy Tadros, president of U.S. business for MetLife. “The addition of the strong Davis Vision and Superior Vision brands will immediately establish MetLife as a leader in managed vision care. We look forward to offering our customers the exceptional member experiences that Versant provides.”

The transaction is targeted to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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