Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG - Free Report) announced to acquire Pronto Holdco LLC, the parent company of Pronto Insurance (Pronto). The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
Brownsville, TX -based Pronto was founded in 1997. The company is a full-service Managing General Agency (MGA), broker and claims administrator. Its niche expertise lies in serving the fast growing Hispanic market. The buyout will help Arthur J. Gallagher consolidate its position as one of the largest MGAs in the United States.
Moreover, the integration is likely to aid the acquirer to better address the Hispanic market. Also, the acquirer will leverage Pronto’s expertise and data-driven marketing to enhance its Risk Placement Services’ product offerings.
Arthur J. Gallagher boasts impressive growth, driven by its organic sales as well as merger and acquisition activity. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) insurance broker expects its association with the purchased companies to net in more success in the near future as these partners recognize the insurer’s wide-ranged capabilities as well as empathize with its similar culture. The company’s inorganic pipeline remains strong with about $400 million of revenues.
Mergers and acquisitions are stealing the show of late. This space is one of the most important trends to look out for in 2018. The last couple of years has set the stage for insurers to take an aggressive and positive stance toward the deal-making environment in 2018, mainly driven by an evolving industry and the M&A landscape.
Buyouts not only widen the company’s geographical footprint but also enrich its portfolio of services. The company evolved from a small retail presence in Australia, Canada and New Zealand to one of the top global five brokers. In first-quarter 2018, the company closed six buyouts with annualized revenues of about $26.7 million.
Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have gained 10.1% year to date, outperforming the industry’s 5.6% increase. The company’s focus on expansion to ramp up its growth profile and a strong capital position should drive the shares higher.
Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks in the insurance industry are eHealth, Inc. (EHTH - Free Report) , Alleghany Corporation (Y - Free Report) and Markel Corporation (MKL - Free Report) .
eHealth provides financial services. The company delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 10.4%. The stock carries Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Alleghany provides property and casualty reinsurance and insurance products in the United States and internationally. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 17.6%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.
Markel markets and underwrites specialty insurance products in the United States and internationally. The company delivered positive surprises in two of the last four quarters with an average beat of 15.5%. The stock has a Zacks Rank of 1.
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