Sumitomo Life Agrees To Buy Symetra Financial In $3.8 Billion Deal

By MarketWatch Pulse

Japan's Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. said it has agreed to acquire Symetra Financial Corp. in a deal valued at about $3.8 billion. Shareholders will receive $32 per share in cash, along with a previously agreed 50 cents-per-share cash dividend, equal to a 32% premium over Symetra's average stock price for the 30 days ending Aug. 5. Symetra, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, offers employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, and will become Sumitomo's life insurance platform in the U.S. "We are confident that this transaction will further enhance our financial and earnings foundation by expanding the size of overseas revenues, diversifying the revenue base and thereby enabling us to build a well-balanced overseas business portfolio across Asia and the United States," Sumitomo Chief Executive Masahiro Hashimoto said in a statement. Symetra is 18% owned by White Mountains and 17% owned by Berkshire Hathaway , both of which have agreed to vote in favor of the deal, which is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2016 or early in the second quarter. Symetra shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are up 28% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.

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