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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Allstate Getting Bigger Stake in Roadside Assistance

Here's the Dow Jones News story from CNNMoney.com:

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Allstate Corp. (ALL) has agreed to acquire a General Electric Co. (GE) unit whose operations include being the nation's second-biggest provider of roadside assistance, a deal that will make the insurer a big player in that sector.

Terms weren't disclosed for the planned purchase of the Partnership Marketing Group unit of GE Money. The deal is set to close by month's end and would make Allstate a roadside-assistance provider to more than 4 million drivers. AAA, which has 50 million members, is the biggest provider.

Allstate currently provides assistance to 1.2 million drivers, with 1.4 million additional Allstate auto-insurance holders getting towing or other benefits.

Beyond roadside assistance, Partnership Marketing provides various membership- based consumer programs and legal-service benefits plans. Allstate Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas J. Wilson said acquiring the business will "create value in businesses where we excel, tap into fast-growing markets and expand our playing fields."

-By Jennifer Hoyt and Kevin Kingsbury, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2474; jennifer.hoyt@dowjones.com

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