Alliance Pour La Santé Etudiante Au Quebec Inc. significantly expands People Corporation’s position in the post-secondary student benefits consulting and administration market.
ENCOMPASS Benefits & HR Solutions Inc. adds to the Company’s group benefits and group retirement consulting operations in B.C., enhancing People Corporation’s national capabilities.
Watermark Benefit Consulting Inc. designs and delivers group benefits and group retirement solutions, with deep expertise serving organizations with international employee bases.
People Corporation (the “Company”) (TSX Venture: PEO) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alliance Pour La Santé Etudiante Au Quebec Inc. (“ASEQ”), and has also recently closed the acquisitions of Watermark Benefit Consulting Inc. (“Watermark”) and ENCOMPASS Benefits & HR Solutions Inc. (“ENCOMPASS”).
Acquisition of Alliance Pour La Santé Etudiante Au Quebec Inc.
The Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ASEQ, a privately-owned benefits consulting and administration firm focused on post-secondary students (the “Transaction”). Established in 1996, ASEQ currently serves approximately 650,000 students through approximately 100 student associations and post-secondary institutions in six Canadian provinces. The addition of ASEQ to the People Corporation group of companies establishes the Company as a market leader in the segment, expanding its current capabilities and enhancing the Company’s ability to deliver market leading benefit solutions to post-secondary students. ASEQ’s founder and management team will continue to run the operations as part of People Corporation, and ASEQ’s highly talented team of approximately 150 consultants and staff will continue to provide innovative solutions to students.
Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman and CEO of People Corporation, commented, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of ASEQ, which is a leader in the highly attractive student benefits sector. ASEQ is a perfect complement to our existing Gallivan and ACL student-focused operations, establishing People Corporation as a top national provider of student benefits solutions. By adding ASEQ to our platform, we have also broadened our suite of proprietary products and services, enhanced our national scale and capabilities, and meaningfully grown our market position in Quebec. We are thrilled to welcome the highly talented ASEQ team into the People Corporation family.”
People Corporation has agreed to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of ASEQ from a group of shareholders for a purchase price of $56.4 million, subject to post-closing adjustments. Of the total purchase price, $50.0 million will be paid in cash on closing of the Transaction, and the remaining $6.4 million will be paid by way of deferred payments following the second anniversary of the closing, subject to potential adjustment related to the financial performance of the business. In addition, ASEQ shareholders may be eligible to receive additional payments in the four years following closing of the Transaction should the business exceed certain financial performance thresholds. The Closing of the ASEQ Transaction, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to occur in early December.
Acquisition of ENCOMPASS Benefits & HR Solutions Inc.
Based in Kelowna, British Columbia, ENCOMPASS takes a holistic approach to providing its clients a full suite of group benefits, group retirement, HR services and health and wellness solutions. ENCOMPASS’ principal, Bret Loge, will continue to operate the business as part of People Corporation, and his talented team will continue to provide extraordinary service and advice to the company’s clients. The addition of ENCOMPASS will enhance People Corporation’s national capabilities while continuing to grow its presence in British Columbia, particularly in the interior region of the province.
Mr. Goldberg commented, “ENCOMPASS has built a robust business based on a foundation of stable, long-term client relationships and exceptional service. The addition of ENCOMPASS to our national platform will both enhance People Corporation’s national capabilities and further grow our presence in the Province of British Columbia. We are very excited to welcome Bret and his team to the People Corporation group of companies.”
Acquisition of Watermark Benefit Consulting Inc.
Founded in 1993 and based in Calgary, Alberta, Watermark specializes in providing employee benefits and group retirement solutions to companies with international and domestic operations. Watermark has developed a highly-trusted brand by providing superior value to its clients in addressing their varying needs for their global workforces through sophisticated advice on plan design, client service and access to a broad product portfolio. Watermark’s founder and principal, Jean Iozzo, will continue to run the operations as part of the People Corporation group of companies.
“People Corporation’s offering to enterprise-sized clients continues to expand, along with the demand for advice and solutions focused on organizations with international workforces,” said Mr. Goldberg. “Watermark has established itself as one of Canada’s top specialists in this area, and their deep expertise in international benefits will be additive to our enterprise capabilities. We have known the Watermark team for many years and I am pleased to welcome them as part of the People Corporation family.”
Exercise of Accordion Option on Credit Facility
The Company also announced today that, in conjunction with these acquisitions, it has exercised the accordion option on its senior credit facility (the “Facility”) to increase the size of the Facility by $50 million, to a total of $175 million overall.