KKR Snatches Insurance Brokerage Alliant From Blackstone

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE:KKR) inked a deal on Friday to acquire specialty insurance brokerage Alliant Insurance Services from rival private-equity firm Blackstone (NYSE:BX) for an undisclosed price.

With roughly 20,000 clients around the U.S., Newport Beach, Calif.-based Alliant is the largest specialty insurance broker in the U.S. The company provides property and casualty insurance, workers’ compensation, employee benefits and other services to clients.

“This transaction marks the next phase of Alliant's growth and offers us an exciting opportunity to continue to build the business and offer best in class products and services to our clients,” Alliant CEO Tom Corbett said in a statement. “We are pleased to be partnering with KKR and appreciate the positive role that private capital can play in helping us manage our business and execute a growth strategy.”

The companies said they anticipate the transaction closing in the fourth quarter.

Alliant’s management team and employees, who own about 45% of the company, will roll over a “substantial portion” of their investment in the company, the press release said.

“Alliant's leadership team has built a unique insurance distribution franchise that is differentiated in its expertise, product offerings and client relationships,” said Tagar Olson, of KKR.

Blackstone, which acquired Alliant in June 2007 for a reported $1.1 billion, helped grow the insurance company through a number of strategic acquisitions.

J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Blackstone Advisory Partners served as financial advisers on the deal for both Blackstone and Alliant.

Shares of KKR rallied 1.15% to $14.03 Friday morning. The New York-based firm has about $66.3 billion in assets under management.

Blackstone, which is also headquartered in New York, saw its shares gain 0.68% to $14.90, leaving them up about 6% on the year.