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Mega-mergers up among insurers, reinsurers in first half

Posted On: Sep. 16, 2015 12:00 AM CST

Mega-mergers up among insurers, reinsurers in first half

Global merger and acquisition activity in the property/casualty insurance and reinsurance sectors experienced a substantial increase in terms of both deal activity and announced deal values during the first half of this year, according to a report released by A.M. Best Co. Inc.

Deal values rose to $21 billion, an increase of 290% from those registered in the same period a year earlier, Oldwick, New Jersey-based Best said Tuesday in “Return of the Mega Deal During First Half of 2015.”

The number of deals rose 73% from the number posted in the first half of 2014 to 76 announced transactions, according the report. The average deal size also rose considerably, climbing 160% from that of the comparable period in 2014 to $279 million during the first six months of the year.

Among the significant deals cited by Best are Ace Ltd.'s proposed acquisition of Chubb Corp. for about $28.3 billion, and Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.'s acquisition of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. for $7.5 billion.

Among the factors cited by Best as driving the M&A activity were increased capital efficiency and scale to drive down costs through synergies, consolidation to increase the buying power of pricing and terms and conditions, diversified product lines and reduced exposure to market cycles, improved growth, cheaper funding and “general fear of being left behind.”