Update, 11/28/12, 10:45 a.m. EST: Attorneys for Alliant Insurance Service’s management have been added to the 10th paragraph below.
In the latest example of the recent trend toward private equity firms doing deals with each other, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed to acquire Alliant Insurance Services from the Blackstone Group for an undisclosed sum.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, the transaction—which was announced Friday and is expected to close by the end of the year, comes amid the spate of so-called secondary deals that private equity shops have been striking with rivals in order to unload properties purchased at the peak of the buyout boom. The twist in this instance is that Alliant is getting its third private equity owner in the past five years. Blackstone bought Alliant from buyout firm Lindsay Goldberg in 2007 for a reported $1.1 billion.
Alliant employees and management, who currently own about 45 percent of the company, will largely roll that stake over in the acquisition, according to a KKR press release. Tom Corbett, the chairman and CEO of the Newport Beach, California–based company—which provides property and casualty, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, surety, and financial services policies—said in a statement that the new owners will allow Alliant to remain independent. Corbett also said in the statement that he appreciates “the positive role that private capital can play in helping us manage our business and execute a growth strategy.”
Serving as lead outside counsel on the deal are Latham & Watkins, which is representing KKR, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which is advising both Alliant and longtime firm client Blackstone.
New York–based Latham M&A partners Edward Sonnenschein and David Kurzweil are leading a deal team from the firm that also includes New York tax partner David Raab; Washington, D.C., benefits partner David Della Rocca; D.C. capital markets partner Rachel Sheridan; D.C. finance partner Jeffrey Chenard; Los Angeles–based insurance counsel Alexandra Roje, D.C. antitrust partner Marc Williamson and antitrust counsel Sydney Smith; New York intellectual property partner Jeffrey Tochner; and New York real estate counsel Betsy Mukamal.
Reached Monday, Sonnenschein declined to comment. Latham last advised KKR a year ago on its $1.1 billion purchase of safety equipment maker Capital Safety from Arle Capital Partners.
The New York–based Simpson Thacher team advising Blackstone and Alliant includes lead corporate partners Wilson Neely and Peter Martelli, as well as partner Gregory Grogan on executive compensation issues and partner Gary Mandel, who is providing tax advice. Neely did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Simpson Thacher’s recent assignments for Blackstone include advising the private equity firm on its $2 billion purchase of residential security and solar power maker Vivint in September; its acquisition of Capital Trust’s investment management business that same month for $20 million; the $1.79 billion October sale of senior housing communities jointly owned by Blackstone to real estate investment trust HCP; and a partnership with LLOG Exploration that is investing a combined $1.2 billion in offshore energy assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
Blackstone’s chief legal officer, John Finley, is a former Simpson Thacher partner who left the firm in 2010 to join the private equity giant.
Reed Smith partner Mark Pedretti, the New York-based head of the firm’s private equity practice, and Philadelphia partner John Martini represented Alliant’s management team on the deal.