USI has agreed to purchase Wells Fargo Insurance Services, the commercial insurance business of Wells Fargo, with the sale part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing plans to focus on its core services. A Bloomberg report from last month indicated the unit could sell for about $2 billion. The WFIS business comprises a number of insurance sub-sectors, including national practices for employee benefits and property & casualty.
The transaction takes place in an area of increasing PE interest: insurance add-ons in the US. Investors completed 130 deals in the space last year, per the PitchBook Platform, the highest mark so far this decade and the culmination of a 94% rise in deal activity since 2012. That increase has largely been driven by a handful of investors: ABRY Partners, HarbourVest Partners, GTCR, Apax Partners and Hellman & Friedman have each completed at least 74 deals in the space since the start of 2010, while no other outfit has topped 45.