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Nationwide Buys Harleysville, Looking to Increase Commercial Lines Marketshare

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Posted on 30 Sep 2011

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Nationwide confirmed it is buying Pennsylvania-based Harleysville Group in a deal valued at about $800 million. The deal will give Nationwide deeper penetration in the eastern half of the country and increase its property and casualty commercial lines of business. .

Nationwide is paying $60 a share for the 12.6 million shares not held by Harleysville’s parent, Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co. Harleysville Mutual policyholders will become policyholders and members of Nationwide Mutual.

The combined companies will have annual premiums topping $16 billion.

“With Harleysville’s expertise in commercial lines and Nationwide’s complementary geographic distribution, there will be a substantial opportunity to increase market share, while also providing our combined agents and customers access to a broader portfolio of insurance, financial and banking product,” said Steve Rasmussen, Nationwide’s CEO, in a statement.

The deal is subject to approval by regulatory agencies and Harleysville shareholders. It is expected to close early next year.

Harleysville Mutual has agreed to vote its 54 percent stake in Harleysville in favor of the merger.