Zurich Insurance in Talks to Acquire MetLife's Car, Home Insurance Unit
By Kimberly Chin and Leslie Scism
Zurich Insurance Group AG said Friday that it is in talks with
MetLife Inc. to acquire the insurer's U.S. property and casualty
Zurich's announcement confirms part of a Friday report by
Reuters that the Swiss company is in advanced talks to acquire
MetLife's car and home insurance unit for close to $4 billion,
citing people familiar with the matter.
The terms of the potential transaction were still under
negotiation, Zurich said. Zurich didn't disclose a potential deal
amount. "The terms of any transaction are subject to negotiations
and there can be no assurance that a transaction will take place,"
The deal would be conducted through Zurich's Farmers Group Inc.
unit, which would expand Zurich Insurance's U.S. business.
In notes following the Reuters report, some Wall Street analysts
said a price of $4 billion would represent a good deal for MetLife
shareholders. MetLife hasn't commented on the potential transaction
since news broke in September and didn't issue a statement itself
The move would come as MetLife has focused on expanding
offerings in its big business of selling benefits programs to
companies, including life and dental insurance and a growing number
of other choices. It recently agreed to purchase a vision insurer,
on the heels of a deal involving pet insurance.
"Our sense is [MetLife] would continue to look for M&A to
pursue opportunities in the group segment to enhance the return
profile of that business," Elyse Greenspan, a Wells Fargo
Securities analyst, wrote in a note. She also said MetLife likely
would use some of the proceeds for additional share buybacks, and
said a "sale would add to [MetLife's] strong capital
Analysts at Piper Sandler said the MetLife unit has roughly $3.7
billion premium business with about two-thirds being auto and the
remaining being home.
Write to Kimberly Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org and Leslie Scism
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 20, 2020 18:49 ET (23:49 GMT)
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