Anbang Pulls N.Y. Approval Request for FGL Deal, Will Refile

  • Chinese insurer to still seek consent from Iowa regulators
  • Anbang plans to refile request with N.Y. ‘in the near future’

Anbang Insurance Group Co. withdrew its application to the New York Department of Financial Services to acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life and plans to refile “in the near future,” according to a regulatory filing.

The Chinese insurer, which agreed in November to pay $1.6 billion to buy FGL, also will continue to seek regulatory approval from the Iowa Insurance Division, according to the filing Tuesday from the Des Moines-based company, which didn’t say why the New York request was pulled. The deal was supposed to be completed in the second quarter, the firms have said.

“The parties are committed to securing the remaining regulatory approvals and seek to close the merger as expeditiously as possible,” FGL said in the filing.

Anbang has come under scrutiny by regulators in China, which planned to boost oversight, people familiar with the matter said this month. The firm emerged as one of the country’s most prominent overseas acquirers, seeking deals for real estate and unlisted equities. In March, a group led by Anbang abruptly scrapped a $14 billion takeover offer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., clearing the way for a acquisition by Marriott International Inc.

FGL shares fell 3.3 percent to $23.75 at 4:15 p.m. in New York, extending this year’s decline to 6.4 percent.

Adam Pollack, a spokesman for the Chinese acquirer at Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer & Katcher, declined to comment on the New York regulator’s decisions, while reiterating that Anbang hasn’t been informed of any investigations by Chinese regulators.

FGL has about $25 billion in assets and is majority-owned by HRG Group Inc., the investment firm backed by Richard Handler’s Leucadia National Corp. Anbang has won approval for the takeover from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

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