US insurer withdraws from deal with China’s Anbang

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NEW YORK: US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life said Monday it was terminating a proposed $1.6 billion deal to be acquired by China’s Anbang Insurance Group.

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“We have determined that it is no longer in the best interests of FGL’s shareholders to continue to pursue the transaction with Anbang,” said Fidelity chief executive Chris Littlefield in a news release.

FGL said it was open to a deal with another party and had received interest from “a number of parties” but had been barred from striking another deal while the Anbang transaction was alive.

But with this step, Fidelity “has no remaining obligations under the Merger Agreement and may enter into an alternative transaction.”

Fidelity did not spell out a reason for the demise of the transaction, but accounts in the US business press said the Anbang deal had hit obstacles with state regulators.

Established just 13 years ago, Anbang has grown from a domestic seller of property insurance into a financial services powerhouse, making a name for itself abroad by buying New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria hotel for a record $1.95 billion in 2014.

Anbang also made a $14 billion dollar bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, but pulled out of a bidding war with Marriott, which ended up buying Starwood.

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