Madison Dearborn to Buy NFP for $1.3 Billion

Madison Dearborn Partners LLC agreed to buy National Financial Partners Corp. in a deal valued at $1.3 billion including debt that can be converted into stock.

Madison Dearborn, a Chicago-based private-equity firm founded more than two decades ago, will pay $25.35 in cash per share of New York-based NFP, the companies said today in a statement. That represents a 26 percent premium to NFP’s closing share price on March 12, the day before the insurance brokerage and wealth-management company said it was considering selling itself.

NFP rose 6.8 percent to $25.01 at the close of trading in New York. The stock gained 17 percent this year through March 12 and has risen 46 percent so far this year.

“NFP has a solid foundation, and we are confident the company will thrive as a private enterprise in this next chapter of its evolution,” said Jessica Bibliowicz, the company’s chief executive officer.

Bibliowicz, the daughter of former Citigroup Inc. CEO and Chairman Sanford Weill, has led NFP since 1999, when the firm was a startup with $125 million of financial backing from Leon Black’s Apollo Management LP. Bibliowicz plans to step down next month, and the board is expected to appoint Douglas Hammond, NFP’s president and chief operating officer, as CEO, the company said.

Madison Dearborn has raised six funds with more than $18 billion since it was founded in 1992. The firm’s current investments in financial and transaction-services companies include money manager Nuveen Investments Inc. and EVO Payments International, a closely held payments processor, according to its website.

Bank of America Corp. and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP advised NFP’s board, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP was legal adviser to the company. Madison Dearborn was advised by UBS AG and Ropes & Gray LLP.

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