Liberty Mutual in $2.29 billion mega deal

Liberty Mutual in $2.29 billion mega deal | Insurance Business America

Liberty Mutual in $2.29 billion mega deal

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire State Auto Group - a super-regional insurance holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio – for approximately $2.29 billion in cash.

The deal will see Liberty Mutual purchase all publicly held shares of common stock of State Auto Financial for $52 per share. According to FactSet, the deal values State Auto Financial at $2.29 billion, based on 44.05 million shares outstanding.

Liberty Mutual will also gain roughly 3,400 independent agencies across 33 states, adding to its already sizeable network of more than 100,000 independent agencies countrywide. This will make Liberty Mutual the second largest carrier in the independent agency distribution channel in the United States.

Through the deal, Liberty Mutual will also add $2.3 billion in premium and will significantly expand market share in personal lines and small commercial insurance.

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“State Auto Group's capabilities and product expertise are an ideal complement to Liberty Mutual's domestic personal lines and small commercial business, and we welcome 2,000 talented associates to our family,” said Liberty Mutual chairman and chief executive officer David Long.

“Equally appealing are its values. For almost a century, State Auto has celebrated a culture of caring for people, exceptional service and deep philanthropy, mirroring our purpose to help people embrace today and confidently pursue tomorrow.”

State Auto president and CEO Mike LaRocco commented: “The opportunity to join the Liberty Mutual organization is a direct result of the incredible work of the State Auto team, beginning with the transformation of our business and culture that began in 2015.

“We've become a digital provider of auto, home and business insurance while remaining fully committed to the independent agency system, as we've been since our founding 100 years ago. Our partnership with Liberty Mutual will further that commitment to independent agents and contribute to the collective success of our agents, policyholders, shareholders and associates.”

The transaction, through which State Auto mutual members will become mutual members of Liberty Mutual, was approved by the State Auto Financial and State Auto Mutual boards of directors, both upon the recommendation of a special committee of independent directors. The deal is set to close in 2022, pending further member, shareholder and regulatory approval.