NEW YORK–MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and certain wholly owned subsidiaries to Farmers Group, Inc. (FGI), a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group, for $3.94 billion in cash, subject to the terms therein. FGI has informed MetLife that it will sell the insurance operations to the Farmers Exchanges.
In connection with the transaction, MetLife and the Farmers Exchanges have established a 10-year strategic partnership through which Farmers Insurance® (Farmers) will offer its personal lines products on MetLife’s industry-leading U.S. Group Benefits platform, which today reaches 3,800 employers and approximately 37 million eligible employees. Farmers will also gain access to MetLife’s network of 7,700 independent agents and assume responsibility for MetLife’s existing retail property and casualty customers.
Commenting on the sale and the partnership, MetLife President and CEO Michel Khalaf said:
“Following our recently announced acquisition of Versant Health, which will catapult MetLife to the No. 3 vision care provider in the U.S. by membership, this transaction is another bold step in the execution of our Next Horizon strategy. It will allow us to focus on our core strengths, simplify the company operationally, and further differentiate our offering in the critically important employee benefits space.
“The employees dedicated to MetLife Auto & Home have built a strong business and will now become part of one of the country’s leading personal lines insurance companies. By combining the power of MetLife’s group benefits channel with Farmers’ high brand recognition and 90 years of personal lines excellence, we are enabling each company to do what it does best.
“We look forward to continuing to meet the expectations of our group customers, preserving strong relationships with our distribution partners, and providing employees across the U.S. with attractive benefits through our partnership with Farmers.”
The 10-year strategic partnership will provide MetLife’s existing group benefits customers with continuity in account management while adding Farmers industry-leading products to the platform. MetLife is the market leader in the U.S. group benefits space, offering over 35 group products and services – the most in the industry – and serving tens of millions of U.S. employees and their dependents.
MetLife and Farmers are targeting the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. MetLife expects to report its property & casualty business as a divested business in the first quarter 2021. Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel to MetLife in connection with this transaction.