Insurance comparison firm SelectQuote taps banks for IPO: sources

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters at the Paradeplatz square in Zurich, Switzerland October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SelectQuote has hired investment banks for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the owner of the eponymous insurance policy comparison website at more than $2 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

SelectQuote is working with banks that include Morgan Stanley MS.N and Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.S on an IPO that could come in the first half of this year, subject to market conditions, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is not public.

Overland Park, Kansas-based SelectQuote did not respond to a request for comment. Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

SelectQuote allows consumers to compare insurance policies, such as life, auto and home insurance, from providers including American International Group AIG.N, Prudential Financial Inc PRU.N and Liberty Mutual to get the best pricing and most suitable policy.

While using websites to compare and buy insurance products is commonplace around the world, the U.S. insurance industry has been slower to embrace technology as means of bypassing traditional insurance brokers.

In September, Prudential said it would pay $2.35 billion for Assurance IQ, a startup that uses data science and machine learning to speed up the insurance buying process.

SelectQuote was founded in 1985 by Charan Singh, who currently serves as its chairman. Tim Danker has been CEO of SelectQuote since 2017, according to the company’s website.

Among SelectQuote's investors are Brookside Equity Partners, which has also owned stakes in Lyft Inc LYFT.O, AirBnB and Snap Inc SNAP.N, according to the private equity firm's website.

Reporting by David French in New York; Editing by Will Dunham