| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Chubb’s improved $25bn offer for insurer Hartford is rebuffed

Hartford Financial Services said it received and rejected two additional unsolicited acquisition offers from Chubb, the property-casualty insurer run by Evan Greenberg, after turning down a previous $23 billion takeover bid.

Greenberg offered to sweeten Chubb’s offer on March 30 to more than $67 a share from $65, Hartford said in a statement on Thursday. Chief executive Christopher Swift wrote back the next day to turn it down.

Two weeks later, Greenberg sent another letter offering $70 per share, or about $25 billion, calling it “the top end of our range”. That deal would have been 60 per cent cash and 40 per cent stock, and Swift would have been welcomed as a “key member” of Chubb’s executive management team, according to the letter. In a response on Thursday, Swift said Hartford’s board had unanimously rejected that deal as well.

“The path to a transaction would have been engagement coming from the Hartford on the terms of our last proposal,” Chubb said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it was “disappointed.”

Had Chubb secured a deal, it would have been one of the company’s largest since Greenberg fused Ace with Chubb in 2016.

“While more fireworks are possible, Hartford’s refusal to engage in talks with Chubb could put the brakes on a deal for now,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Palazola said in an email. “We think it’s unlikely Chubb will continue to negotiate against itself absent other potential bidders.”

Hartford has long been considered a takeover candidate for the biggest insurers including Chubb, which could reap sizeable cost savings, as well as major players in Europe, such as Allianz and Zurich Insurance.

After Chubb approached Hartford about a deal, Allianz was said to have mulled a counter-offer. Mergers and acquisitions among property and casualty insurers, the biggest segment of the market, have been active in recent years.

Hartford shares, which are up about 36 percent since the start of the year, dropped 1.3 percent by 11.41am in New York on Thursday.

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