“Prudential Financial Inc. PRU +1.64% is close to an agreement to acquire Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.’s HIG +3.80% individual life-insurance business, and could reach a deal with its rival later today.
Prudential and Hartford have been working on details of the complex deal, which would transfer the responsibilities of policy claims from one insurer to the other and entail related reinsurance contracts, a person familiar with the talks said. Investment bankers and analysts have valued the business at about $1 billion.
A deal would be Prudential’s first big acquisition since it paid nearly $5 billion to acquire two Japanese life insurers from American International Group Inc. AIG +0.85% early last year. Prudential Chief Executive John Strangfeld said this summer that it was “critical” for the company to improve returns and find ways to effectively deploy billions of dollars of excess capital.
For Hartford, a deal would help its chief executive, Liam McGee, make good on a promise to narrow the company’s focus to property-casualty and group-benefits insurance, and mutual funds.
Representatives for Hartford and Prudential said the companies’ policy is to not comment on market speculation. The talks were reported in August.”Twitter