Lightyear Capital has agreed to sell its majority stake in The NAU Group, a provider of crop insurance in the U.S., to a unit of Australia’s QBE Insurance Group. The deal is valued at $565 million, plus a special dividend at closing.
Lightyear Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, today announced it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to sell its majority interest in The NAU Group, an industry leader in the market for crop insurance in the United States, to QBE of the Americas, a subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group Ltd of Australia. The purchase price was $565 million, plus a special dividend paid prior to closing.
Lightyear originally invested in The NAU Group in May, 2005 and since then has worked closely with NAU’s strong management, who built and grew NAU’s presence in this complex but essential segment of the insurance sector, helping it achieve a market leadership position.
Lightyear Chairman and CEO Donald B. Marron said, “When we made this investment, we saw an opportunity to invest in technology and to expand market share and under Lightyear ownership, NAU grew from the seventh to the third largest crop insurer. We are very pleased with this outcome.”
Lightyear and NAU received financial advice on this transaction from BofA Merrill Lynch and SFRi LLC, and legal advice from Sullivan and Cromwell LLP.
ABOUT LIGHTYEAR CAPITAL
Lightyear is a private equity investment firm providing buyout and growth capital to companies in the financial services industry. Based in New York, Lightyear, through its affiliated funds, has managed approximately $3 billion of committed capital with investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banking, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, leasing, related business services, and other sectors within financial services. Lightyear brings unique strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. The senior team of professionals each has approximately 25 years of financial services-related experience and includes Chris Casciato, David Cynn, Michael Doppelt, David Glenn, Stewart Gross, Thierry Ho, Donald Marron, Richard Sterne, and Mark Vassallo.