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MetLife to buy Versant Health for US$1.68b

[NEW YORK] Insurer MetLife has agreed to buy vision-care benefits company Versant Health for US$1.68 billion from an investor group led by Centerbridge Partners and FFL Partners, it said on Thursday.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, the company said in a statement.

Once the deal is completed, MetLife will become the third largest vision insurer in the US by membership, according to the company.

The addition of Davis Vision and Superior Vision brands will establish MetLife as a leader in managed vision care, said Ramy Tadros, president of US business for MetLife.

Versant was formed in 2017 after Centerbridge combined Superior Vision and Davis Vision, which it acquired in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Linthicum, Maryland-based Versant has more than 33 million members in the United States across its vision care plans, according to its website.

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Reuters reported last December Centerbridge Partners was exploring a sale of Versant Health, and that it hired Barclays to run an auction. 


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