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MetLife's $15.5 Billion Acquisition of AIG Unit ALICO OK'd by EU Regulators

Source: The Street

Posted on 26 Aug 2010

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A $15.5 billion deal for MetLife to acquire American International Group, Inc.'s ALICO has been given the green light by regulators in the European Union, making MetLife the largest life insurer in the United States and Mexico, and allow for expansion in the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

About the deal, which is supposed to be finalized by year-end, a MetLife spokesperson said, "We are pleased to see the Commission's announcement that the transaction has been approved, and we are moving forward with our plans to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter." The spokesperson said the acquisition "is a strategic combination that will enhance and balance MetLife's geographic and product mix, and significantly increases the company's distribution power."

Earlier this month MetLife completed a planned equity offering of 75 million shares of common stock -- in addition to selling 11.25 million shares of common stock -- to fund the acquisition of ALICO. MetLife also offered up $3 billion of senior debt.

AIG has been selling off assets to repay the government bailout of 2008. The insurer announced Monday that it had paid back about $4 billion dollars to the government thanks to a debt sale of its aircraft leasing business. AIG is expected to announce another payment to the government after the sale of ALICO is completed.

AIG has been working on raising more capital to pay the government back through a initial public offering of American International Assurance (AIA) after a $35 billion sale to Prudential fell through.

Separately, AIG said it was committed to selling a stake in Nan Shan Life Insurance to China Strategic Holdings and Primus Financial Holdings. The $2.15 billion deal is expected to close in October, according to published reports.

AIG currently owes the government $101 billion and the Federal Reserve a credit line of $21 billion, plus interest.