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Triple-S Management to go private if sale to FL-based Guidewell closes

The $900 million acquisition of Triple-S Management Corp. by Florida-based Guidewell Mutual Holding Corp. will take the Puerto Rican insurer from a publicly traded to a private company, if the transaction is consummated in 2022.

During a news conference with reporters a few hours after announcing the all-cash deal, Triple-S Management CEO Roberto García-Rodríguez said once the deal gets all of the required approvals, Guidewell will buy all of Triple-S Management’s outstanding common stock, which have been priced at $36 per share.

The sale of Triple-S Management’s assets has been in the making for the better part of this year, as the local company pursued alternatives for growth. Triple-S decided move forward because it “found the right partner,” García said.

“As a publicly traded company, we owe ourselves to our shareholders, and at the same time, there’s a very short-term pressure on the company that makes it a little more difficult for us to think long-term and for us, being part of a broader organization brings not only access to capital but access to strategic bandwidth,” García said.

“We were thinking about how to accelerate our growth strategy, being a relatively small publicly traded company, and we figured the best way to move forward was to be part of a broader organization,” García said.

Meanwhile, Guidewell CEO Pat Geraghty said the firm expects to learn from the local company’s expertise in certain areas, such as its expertise in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid programs.

“Medicaid has a number of private companies in the state of Florida, but we’re not one of those companies at this point in time. But we intend to learn from the folks at Triple-S and make decisions about whether there’s an opportunity in the Medicaid marketplace in Florida,” said Geraghty.

While Guidewell does participate in the Medicare Advantage market, “we see a great opportunity to continue to expand,” Geraghty said.

Guidewell has experienced exponential growth in the past 10 years, when it was an $8 billion operation. Geraghty said that number is up to $20 billion now “and we expect by making this acquisition that we will grow both businesses.”

As for what the transaction could represent for Triple-S customers — and if they will be able to get medical services when traveling to Florida — remains to be seen.

“It’s very early in the process, but we’ve already started with an integration team that will be exploring opportunities or both development of our products and our membership not only in Puerto Rico but also in Florida,” García said.

“We’ve already started talking about the things that we could be doing together to serve a very large Puerto Rican community that lives in Florida, and also what can we do for those members of the Puerto Rican community that come and go,” he said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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