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Hilltop Holdings (HTH) to Divest Property Underwriting Unit

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Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH - Free Report) has inked a deal to divest its wholly owned subsidiary, National Lloyds Corporation, to Align Financial Holdings, LLC. The all-cash deal has been valued at $150 million and is expected to close in second-quarter 2020.

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

With active licenses in 40 states, National Lloyds is a specialty property underwriter that caters to needs of owners of lower value homes and mobile homes. It writes premiums through two subsidiaries, National Lloyds Insurance Company and American Summit Insurance Company ("Carriers"), and also has wholly owned agency and services businesses, including Nalico General Agency ("Agencies").

Along with the buyout of National Lloyds, Align signed a deal to sell Carriers to ReAlign Insurance Holdings, LLC, in an all-cash transaction. As a part of deal, the Agencies retained by Align will enter into various agreements with the Carriers to provide services, including acting as a program underwriting manager and claims administrator for the Carriers post-transaction.

President and CEO at Hilltop Holdings, Jeremy B. Ford, said "We believe the sale of National Lloyds allows Hilltop to better focus our resources on growing our core operating companies of PlainsCapital Bank, PrimeLending, and HilltopSecurities."

Align CEO Kieran Sweeney said, “We believe Align’s unrelenting focus on superior underwriting, delivering quality specialty insurance products and using advanced technologies to enhance the customer experience, coupled with our relationship-based culture, will be a perfect fit for National Lloyds’ employees, clients and independent agents.”

This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has gained 21.2% in a year’s time, outperforming 1.4% rally for the industry.

Some other stocks in the finance space worth considering are Sallie Mae SLM, UMB Financial Corporation UMBF and State Street Corporation STT. All these stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sallie Mae has been raised 29% for the current year in the past 30 days. The company’s share price has gained 29.7% in the past six months.

UMB Financial has witnessed 1.3% upward revision in earnings estimates for current year in the past 30 days. Its share price has risen 4.8% in the past six months.

State Street’s shares have gained 40.6% in six months’ time. Its earnings estimates for current year have moved up 6.6% in the past 30 days.

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