Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. was one of the first companies in the United States organized solely to design, underwrite and market legal expense plans. The company now services the United States and Canada, serving over 1.5 million families with reliable legal coverage an identity theft protection through a network of provider law firms and the Kroll company.
The predecessor to Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., The Sportsman’s Motor Club, was formed in 1972. However the roots to the company expand back to July 11, 1969, when the founder Harland Stonecipher was involved in a head on collision which resulted not only in totaling his vehicle, and expensive medical fees, but legal fees from the ticketed party suing him.
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. really boomed, first initializing use of network marketing in 1983. In 1984 the company is listed on the NASDAQ National Market and within two years has moved to the American Stock Exchange becoming a publicly traded company.
Much of the 1990’s saw a backlash against companies that utilized network marketing and of course, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. was no exception. Restructuring and careful business practices allowed the company to rebound and in 1999 moved to the New York Stock Exchange, and within four months is listed as the 33rd fastest growing company on the NYSE.
With a strong product providing a great benefit to many people, and a large untapped market, it is no wonder that in 2000 Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. makes the Forbes list of the 200 Best Small Companies in America for the fifth year in a row. The success has continued with more placings on the Forbes list, and numerous articles about Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. spreading the word.
In 2011, New York based private equity firm MidOcean Partners expressed an interest in acquiring the company. In June of 2011 Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.’s shareholders voted in favor of a merger with MidOcean Partners’ two newly formed entities: MidOcean PPL Holdings Corp. and PPL Acquisition Corp. As per this agreement MidOcean Partners, with it’s new entities, bought out all outstanding shares of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. for $66.50 per share.