NEW YORK, September 29, 2008 -- Assurant, Inc. ("Assurant") (NYSE: AIZ), a premier provider of specialized insurance and insurance-related products and services, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Warranty Management Group business from GE Consumer & Industrial, a unit of General Electric (NYSE:GE). The acquisition was completed on September 26, 2008. As part of the agreement, Assurant also entered into a new 10-year agreement to market extended warranties and service contracts on GE-branded major appliances in the United States.
In 2003, Assurant Solutions and GE, two respected leaders in the extended service contract market, entered into an alliance whereby Assurant offered extended warranties directly to GE appliance purchasers and through leading retailers for consumer electronics, computers, appliances and other goods and services. Assurant will also assume full responsibility for operating the extended warranty business it previously co-managed and shared with GE. In addition, GE Factory Service Technicians will continue to provide in-home service on the Assurant extended warranties sold with GE appliances.
Assurant paid GE $140 million in cash for the sale, transfer, and conveyance of certain assets and will assume certain liabilities. As part of the transaction, GE paid Assurant $115 million in cash for the assumption of certain obligations.
Assurant expects that the acquisition will be accretive to earnings in 2009. Assurant has provided the underwriting in its existing partnership with GE. Therefore, the acquisition will not change Assurant's reported premiums.
Robert B. Pollock, Assurant's president and chief executive officer, said: "We're pleased to have completed this transaction with GE as we continue to diversify our specialty business by deploying capital in areas where we see good growth potential, such as the extended service contract market."
Extended service contracts and extended warranties provide consumers with peace of mind by protecting them from untimely problems associated with big-ticket purchases. Assurant Solutions, part of Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) provides service plans through more than 10,000 retail stores in the United States. Its programs cover a wide range of products, including home appliances, consumer electronics, motor vehicles, fitness equipment, furniture, jewelry, lawn and garden equipment, personal computers and wireless and mobile devices.
About Assurant Solutions and Assurant, Inc.
Assurant Solutions businesses develop, underwrite, market and administer specialty insurance, extended service contracts and other risk management solutions through collaborative relationships with leading financial institutions, retailers, automobile dealers, funeral homes, utilities and other entities. With operations in 25 cities, including executive offices in Atlanta, Ga., Assurant Solutions serves clients and their customers in 13 countries throughout North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. www.assurantsolutions.com
Assurant Solutions is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North American and selected international markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has over $26 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. www.assurant.com
About GE Consumer & Industrial
GE Consumer & Industrial spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliance, lighting and integrated industrial equipment, systems and services. Providing solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use in more than 100 countries, GE Consumer & Industrial uses innovative technologies and "ecomagination," a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that help customers and consumers meet pressing environmental challenges, to deliver comfort, convenience and electrical protection and control. General Electric (NYSE: GE) brings imagination to work, selling products under the Monogram®, Profile™ GE®, Hotpoint®, SmartWater™ Reveal®, Edison™ and Energy Smart™ consumer brands, and Entellisys™ industrial brand. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.
James A. Sykes
Director, External Communications
Senior Vice President
GE Consumer & Industrial
Director Public Relations