Aflac Inc. Agrees to Acquire Florida-based Dental and Vision Benefits Provider
Thursday, July 18th, 2019
Aflac Incorporated announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Florida-based Argus Holdings, LLC and its subsidiary Argus Dental & Vision, Inc. (Argus), a premier benefits organization and national network dental and vision company.
"We are very excited to have Argus join the Aflac family as we move closer to fulfilling our vision of being the number one distributor of benefit solutions to the U.S. workforce," said Teresa L. White, president of Aflac U.S. "This strategic transaction is a perfect fit as we enhance our core supplemental products with the network dental and vision offerings of Argus to meet the needs of the market."
Argus was founded by Nicholas M. Kavouklis, D.M.D. in 2006. The company services nearly one million dental and vision members, providing benefits management solutions to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) carriers. In addition, the company offers both group and individual network dental and vision insurance plans to employers and individuals. Licensed as a Pre-Paid Limited Health Service Organization (PLHSO) and a Discount Plan Organization (DPO) in Florida, Argus also acts as a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) in 48 states and is licensed as a Discount Health Care Program Operator in Texas.
The transaction will not alter Aflac Incorporated's earnings or capital management outlook for 2019 and is not expected to impact Aflac U.S. sales guidance for the year. Moreover, the transaction does not impact Aflac Incorporated's overall capital management strategy including share repurchase guidance of $1.3 to $1.7 billion for 2019. Funding of the transaction is expected to come from available liquidity held at Aflac Incorporated and does not impact the company's policy of holding a minimum of $2 billion in contingent liquidity and capital. The commitment of capital to the transaction, while modest, is consistent with the company's strategy of investing in business growth initiatives while also returning capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
Argus, with a staff of more than 120 employees, will remain headquartered in Tampa, Florida, under the continued leadership of its President and CEO Dr. Nicholas M. Kavouklis. In addition, Tampa, Florida, will now serve as the home for the Aflac U.S. Network Dental and Vision platform.
"Aflac shares Argus' values of putting the customer first and providing solutions tailored to fit customers' needs," said Argus President and CEO Dr. Nicholas M. Kavouklis. "We look forward to joining the Aflac team and continuing to provide best-in-class service to our benefit management clients while providing a U.S. platform in support of Aflac's strategy to be a leader in providing network dental and vision offerings to employers."
Richard L. Williams, Jr., executive vice president and chief distribution officer of Aflac U.S., added, "With Aflac's strong brand and extensive distribution combined with Argus' tremendous administrative capabilities, we are uniquely positioned to fulfill the growing need of network dental and vision insurance plans at the worksite and direct-to-consumer."
Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP as legal advisor to Aflac Incorporated. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as financial advisor and Hill Ward Henderson served as legal advisor to Argus.
A summary of facts regarding the transaction is available on investors.aflac.com. Aflac management will address questions regarding the transaction and overall strategy on our second quarter earnings call scheduled for July 26, 2019.