Zurich to Buy MetLife Property and Casualty Business

The Swiss insurance company said the deal would increase its presence across the United States.
Lauren MuskettDecember 11, 2020

Zurich Insurance Group has reached an agreement to buy MetLife’s Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance busines in a $3.94 billion cash transaction, the companies said.

Zurich said the deal will give it nationwide presence in the U.S. and access to MetLife’s distribution channels to 3,800 companies for 10 years.

Zurich is making the acquisition through its wholly owned subsidiary Farmers Group.

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“After this acquisition we will be in the top 10 in every one of the 50 American states, which wasn’t the case before,” Zurich chief executive officer Mario Greco said during a conference call, adding that MetLife’s strength in the Northeast and Midwestern U.S. would add to its presence int the southern and western regions of the country.

MetLife CEO Michel Khalaf said the deal was a step in its execution of its Next Horizon strategy and would allow the company to further differentiate its offering in the employee benefits space while focusing on core strengths and simplifying operations.

Zurich said Farmers Group would contribute $2.43 billion to the deal, and Farmers Exchanges would contribute $1.51 billion.

“The deal makes strategic sense,” RBC Capital Markets Analyst Kamran Hossain said. “It offers the Farmers Exchanges a nationwide presence with the ability to access new distribution channels.”

The companies said they are targeting the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2021. MetLife said it expects to report its property and casualty business as a divested business in the first quarter 2021.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, there have been nearly $93 billion worth of transactions in the insurance industry this year, not including this latest deal by Zurich. In March, Aon agreed to buy Willis Towers Watson for about $30 billion.

Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images