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Prudential Funds Purchase of AIG's Japanese Insurance Units

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa ()

American insurance group Prudential Financial Incorporated has announced completion of financing transactions to contribute to the purchase of Japan-based insurers AIG Star Life Insurance Co and AIG Edison Life Insurance Co from its American rival AIG. Prudential Financial, one of America's largest life insurers, raised roughly US$ 2 billion (€ 1.45 billion) through the sale of over 18.3 million shares of Prudential Financial common stock, together with a public offering of US$500 million (€363 million) 4.50 percent senior notes and US$500 million (€363 million) 6.2 percent 30 year senior notes. The financing transactions by the US insurer helping to fund the purchase the two Japan-based insurance companies. The sale of AIG's two Japanese assets will help the US insurer repay the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve of New York for the bailout it received at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008; this amounted to approximately US$182 billion (€132 billion) at the time. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. The New Jersey based insurer Prudential Financial is aiming to pay US$4.2 billion (€3 billion) in cash and absorb US$600 million (€435 million) in debt from the two Japanese insurance businesses currently held by AIG. The deal came to light earlier in the year, with Prudential Financial working towards generating additional capital to fund the purchase of AIG's Star Life Insurance and AIG Edison Life Insurance from AIG. AIG Star Life is engaged in life and retirement plans for individuals and groups. AIG Edison Life offers life insurance services within Japan; the Japanese insurer has established distribution channels operating throughout the country. Prudential Financial stated that current policyholders with Star and Edision will not be affected by the future transaction. AIG recent released third-quarter earnings for 2010, reporting small gains in core business activities. However, the troubled US insurer posted a loss of more than US$2 billion (€1.45 billion) related to sales linked to the AIG group's restructuring program. The latest figures indicate the difficulties the AIG group has experienced in generating funds to repay the US government for its bailout. The Prudential Financial Incorporated announced third quarter 2010 results with net income attributed to its financial services business amounting to US$1.2 billion (€872 million), which is equal to US$2.46 per (€1.7) common share. Earlier this month John Strangfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Financial, said about the future deal "With our acquisition of AIG Star Life and AIG Edision Life expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, we look forward to augmenting our footprint as a leading foreign life insurer in Japan service protection and retirement needs and building on our success in the Japanese insurance market". Earlier in 2010, AIG's disinvestment program included the sale of Alico - another Japanese subsidiary - to MetLife for US$15.5 billion (€11.2 billion). The move by MetLife allowed it to strengthen its presence in the Japanese insurance industry and to substantially increase its global reach. The acquisition of the Japanese companies AIG Star Life Insurance and AIG Edison Life Insurance will mean the US insurer Prudential Financial is expanding its reach in a mature Asian market, but in an economy which has struggled to gain stability since the financial tsunami took effect in 2007-2008. Prudential Financial - the second largest life insurer in the US - currently has assets amounting to roughly US$750 billion (€545 billion) under management, with businesses stretching across the USA, Europe, Latin America and Asia providing a range of indemnities which including life insurance, retirement products, mutual funds, investment products and property services. The acquisitions by Prudential Financial will boost the US-based insurers reach in the world's third largest economy; "The addition of these operations to our existing businesses in Japan will increase our presence and give us opportunities to provide our quality service to more customers. We look forward to working with the management and employees of Star and Edison to ensure a smooth transition," said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial Inc. In June 2010, the Japanese life insurance industry had 47 life insurance companies operating in the country, with the major players being: Alico Japan, ING, Manulife, Midori, Lifenet, SBI AXA Life, Japan Post (Kampo) and AIRIO. The Japanese life and non-life insurance industry is facing difficult times as, similar to the positions of Western Europe and North America, where the insurance market has matured with limited potential for writing new business, compounded by aging populations and declining numbers of younger inhabitants. Insurance Companies Mentioned: Prudential Financial Inc Prudential Financial Prudential Financial Inc. is a financial services leader, with approximately US$750 billion of assets under management as at September 2010. Prudential Financial operates in the United States, Europe, Latin American and Asia, with approximately 42,000 employees worldwide AIG The American International Group - AIGThe American International Group is a leading international insurance organization with operations in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions globally. AIG Star Life Insurance AIG Star Life InsuranceAIG Star Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is involved in providing life insurance coverage and retirement pension plans to the individual and group policyholders. AIG Edison Life Insurance AIG Edison Life InsuranceAIG Edison Life Insurance Company provides life insurance services in Japan. AIG Edison Life Insurance has 8,000 sales agents and 17 bancassurance partners in Japan. The company is also providing new distribution channels for AIG which includes, corporation, unions and government agencies MetLife Metlife InsurancePossessing over 140 years of insurance expertise, MetLife aims to be an innovator in the field of international Life insurance. Globally, MetLife is able to offer its clients accident and health insurance, life insurance, disability income protection, and retirement and savings products. Alico Alico Alico provides a broad and innovative range of insurance and savings products to individual customers, corporate clients and high net worth customers. With products to support every aspect of their customers' lives, and provide comprehensive cover for the employees and commercial needs of their business clients.
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