CPPIB has announced it will acquire Wilton Re for $1.8 billion and TPG has agreed to buy The Warranty Group from Onex for an enterprise value of $1.5 billion. The deals are huge, but not too surprising, as PE firms and insurance companies have a long, mutually profitable history, with 582 PE deals completed in the insurance space just since the start of 2007.
The industry as a whole bounced back nicely from the recession, moving from 56 deals in 2009 to a high of 99 in 2011. The automotive insurance sector in particular rebounded strongly, moving from one deal in 2009 to 17 in 2013; since 2014 has already seen three such deals, the sector's solid activity looks like it may continue. Conversely, life & health insurance activity declined from 18 deals in 2011 to six in 2013. However, with two life & health insurance deals already under 2014's belt, perhaps it's time for a slight resurgence.