U.S. Insurer Allstate Corp said on Tuesday it will buy National General Holdings Corp for about $4 billion in cash, scaling up its auto insurance business at a time when the coronavirus has crushed traffic on roads and reduced claims.
National General’s shareholders will receive $32 per share in cash and closing dividends of $2.50 per share for each share held. This would imply a total deal value of $3.92 billion and a premium of about 69% to National General’s Tuesday close, Reuters calculations showed.
Allstate, which is also one of the largest U.S. auto insurers, said in April that it would return more than $600 million in premiums to customers as many Americans were driving about 40% to 55% less due to stay-at-home orders.
Allstate said the deal is expected to close in early 2021 and will add to its adjusted earnings per share and return-on-equity beginning the first year.
The deal has been approved by National General’s board, the U.S. insurer said, adding that it included a breakup fee of $132.5 million.
“Acquiring National General accelerates Allstate‘s strategy to increase market share in personal property-liability and significantly expands our independent agent distribution,” Allstate Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson said.
The deal comes as the coronavirus crisis caused asset stress among insurers in North America, with ratings agencies assessing that the adverse impact of the pandemic for insurers will take some time to manifest.
Ardea Partners was the financial adviser to Allstate, while J.P. Morgan Securities LLC advised National General.