China’s Anbang insurance to acquire US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life in a $1.6 B deal

November 11
7:54 PM 2015

Anbang Insurance Group Co.  Ltd., a China-based leading global insurance group, has agreed to buy U.S. annuities and life insurance provider Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL) for about $1.57 billion in cash.

Anbang will acquire FGL for $26.80 per share to expand the company business in the U.S.  The deal represents a 28.9% premium over $20.79 per share.

The deal would make Anbang one of the largest insurance by market share in fixed-indexed annuity product in the U.S. As the deal announced, FGL 's stock fell 1% at $25.98 in early trading. While HRG's shares rose at $13.11.  The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

According to Reuters, Paul Newsome analyst Sandler O'Neill said that there has been a broad trend of consolidation within the insurance business which could accelerate this year. O'Neill said that the deal might face a regulatory obstacle by a number of state regulators in the U.S.

Anbang's spokesman was quoted in Marketwatch to have said that the deal will bring value to the customers of both Anbang and FGL as Anbang has always followed a client-centric philosophy.

The acquisition of FGL is consistent with Anbang's investment strategy, which is focused on globalization.

Anbang has been accelerating its global expansion. Earlier this year, the Beijing based company acquired New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The company also closed the deal to buy an office property from Blackstone Group LP and acquire Delta Lloyd NV's Belgian banking unit.

The deal with FGL is expected to enhance the growth of Anbang's business with FGL's solid life and fixed indexed annuity platforms. Anbang Insurance Group has more than 30 million customers and 30,000 employees.

The deal is also expected to accelerate FGL's ability to further extend its policyholder base. FGL has about 700,000 policyholders and offers life insurance and annuities which provide income to retirees. The company had more than $19 billion of investments as of June.

FGL's President & CEO Chris Littlefield told Bloomberg that Anbang's resources will allow the company to continue to grow. He added that with Anbang's ownership, FGL will join a strong, diversified global company that has a long-term vision and investment horizon for life insurance.

Asian insurance companies have been undergoing its global expansion by acquiring insurers in the U.S. In July, China Minsheng Investment has closed the deal to buy White Mountain Insurance's property and casualty reinsurer Sirius International Insurance Group for about $2.24 billion.

Other Asian companies including Fosun International Ltd., Japan's Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. have struck deals to acquire U.S. insurers.

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