Nassau Reinsurance Group Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire US-based The Phoenix Companies, for around $217.2m.


Under the deal, Nassau will pay $37.50 per Phoenix share in cash, representing a 188% premium over its closing stock price of $13.03 on 28 September.

Phoenix president and CEO James Wehr said: "The transaction provides a significant premium to Phoenix shareholders, and the additional capital provided by Nassau will make Phoenix and its subsidiaries financially stronger and well-positioned for the long term, to the benefit of policyholders and other key constituents."

Established in 1851 as a life insurance firm, Phoenix provides products and services developed to meet the financial needs of the middle income and mass affluent markets.

Based in Hartford of Connecticut, Phoenix includes two insurance operating subsidiaries such as Phoenix Life Insurance and PHL Variable Insurance.

Phoenix Life Insurance has its statutory home office in East Greenbush of New York, while PHL Variable Insurance includes its statutory home office in Hartford.

In April this year, Nassau was established as an insurance and reinsurance business by insurance industry executives Phillip Gass and Kostas Cheliotis. It is supported by private investment firm Golden Gate Capital, which has around $15bn of committed capital.

Nassau chairman and CEO Gass said: "This transaction marks Nassau’s first life insurance acquisition, which will become our US life and annuity platform for future growth."

Subject to approval by Phoenix shareholders, regulatory authorities and other closing conditions, the deal is expected to be complete by early 2016.

Image: Phoenix’s headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. Photo: courtesy of John Phelan.