AP NEWS

Synchrony acquires pet health insurer

March 6, 2019

STAMFORD — Consumer financial-services firm Synchrony announced Wednesday the acquisition of pet-health insurer Pets Best, which will operate within the Synchrony-run CareCredit platform that provides financing for health care expenses including veterinarian services.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition would provide Stamford-based Synchrony an entry into the quickly growing pet-insurance market and allow the firm to provide a range of payment options for pet owners and veterinarians, company officials said.

“More people are including pets as part of their family,” Beto Casellas, CEO of CareCredit, said in a statement. “With Pets Best, we now have unique insight into the fast-growing pet-health insurance market and can offer pet owners more choices for their pets’ care. This acquisition will further strengthen our strong veterinary relationships by giving veterinarians the ability to offer comprehensive financial options and a seamless customer experience.”

Pets Best has more than 125,000 pet-insurance policies in place, with more than 1 million claims processed and claims payouts of about $200 million. The firm would continue to operate in its current hometown of Boise, Idaho.

“Joining forces with CareCredit, we can more quickly scale our offerings and provide a full-suite of financing options to our customers, benefiting veterinarians, pet parents and ultimately pets for the long term,” Pets Best President Chris Middleton said in a statement.

Pet spending in the U.S. was estimated to surpass $72 billion in 2018, and the pet-health insurance market is expected to double by 2022, according to some measures.

For all of 2018, Synchrony finished with about $16 billion in revenues, up 7 percent from 2017. Its full-year profits totaled about $2.8 billion, up 44 percent from the previous year.

At the end of 2018, loan receivables for CareCredit totaled about $8.9 billion, up 7 percent year over year.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott