Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Alignvest buying Sagicor Financial at a discount

Published:Wednesday | November 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Canadian investment firm Alignvest will acquire regional insurance giant Sagicor Financial Corporation (SFC) at a "substantial discount" relative to its estimated value of both SFC and its rivals, the company announced in Canada.

It will pay US$536 million, or US$1.75 per share, for SFC, with a projected payback of seven to eight years. The price also reflects Sagicor's book value, said Alignvest. SFC's balance sheet reflects shareholder equity of US$598 million in the September quarter, down from US$623 million at year ending December 2017.

"The transaction is being offered at a valuation Alignvest believes is highly attractive," said Alignvest in a market filing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, adding that the acquisition price represented "a substantial discount to the median price/book and price/earnings ratios of Canadian and Caribbean financial institutions and to Alignvest's estimate of the company's intrinsic value".

At the acquisition price of US$1.75 per share, Alignvest said that the price is valued at approximately 1.0 times book value, 7.8 times targeted 2019 net income, and 6.5 times targeted 2020 net income, taking into account the Scotiabank acquisitions. Scotiabank is selling its life insurance businesses in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to Sagicor/Alignvest, a deal that is expected to close in 2020.

 

PROJECTED GAIN NOT DISCLOSED

 

Alignvest did not disclose its projected gain on the Sagicor Financial acquisition nor the trading range of its peers. But locally, financial conglomerates trade at multiples well above 10 to 15 times net income.

The Canadian company's deal with Sagicor was more than a year in the making. Alignvest said it met the Sagicor team in August 2017 and spent the remaining 15 months evaluating the opportunity.

The acquisition is not expected to trigger a mandatory offer for SFC's Jamaican subsidiary, but shares of Sagicor Group Jamaica still spiked 10 per cent to $44 on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com