M&A deals multiple handshakesACE Ltd. and Chubb were set to close their $29.7 billion merger agreement on Jan. 14 – a scant six months after the companies first announced their surprise deal.

The Chubb name will represent the combined company, a giant that ACE is touting as the world’s largest publicly traded property/casualty insurer. Plans call for its stock to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CB on the first trading day after the closing. News that the deal is closing comes with ACE’s Jan. 13 announcement that it has received all the regulatory approvals it needs to complete its acquisition of Chubb.

Early on, both sides moved quickly to integrate their operations, something that ACE Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said reflected well on future plans and goals. Greenberg will be chairman and CEO of the combined company.

“Since the transaction was announced six months ago, we have moved rapidly and deliberately with integration planning,” Greenberg said in prepared remarks. “This process has given us great confidence in the potential of the new Chubb to create significant value over time.”

The final price tag for the cash and stock deal is a bit higher than the $28 billion agreement initially announced on July 1. It nudged higher based on the closing price of ACE Ltd. shares and the number of outstanding shares of Chubb common stock as of Jan. 12.

The new Chubb will rank second among U.S. commercial lines insurers and also be the U.S. leader in high-net-worth personal lines coverage. It will also be the leading global professional lines player, and the combined entity will represent more than $31 billion in net written premiums for all product lines combined globally (based on 2014 year-end figures).

Still, there were a few blips along the way, while shareholders last fall overwhelmingly approved the ACE/Chubb merger, some Chubb shareholders initially balked at an $80 million golden parachute payment for Chubb CEO John Finnegan, who negotiated Chubb’s sale to ACE and previously announced he’d be retiring this year.

Also, Greenberg has said that the combined company will preserve the independent agency culture prevalent at the old Chubb.

Source: ACE Ltd.

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions Chubb