Hartford Rejects Two Sweetened Takeover Offers From Chubb

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Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said it received and rejected two additional unsolicited acquisition offers from Chubb Ltd., the property-casualty insurer run by Evan Greenberg, after turning down a previous $23 billion takeover bid.

Greenberg offered to sweeten Chubb’s offer on March 30 to more than $67 a share from $65, Hartford said Thursday in a statement. Chief Executive Officer Christopher Swift wrote back the next day to turn it down.

Two weeks later, Greenberg sent another letter offering $70 per share, or about $25 billion, calling it “the top end of our range.” That deal would have been 60% cash and 40% stock, and Swift would have been welcomed as a “key member” of Chubb’s executive-management team, according to the letter. In a response Thursday, Swift said Hartford’s board had unanimously rejected that deal as well.

“The path to a transaction would have been engagement coming from the Hartford on the terms of our last proposal,” Chubb said in a statement Thursday, adding that it was “disappointed.”

Had Chubb secured a deal, it would have been one of the company’s largest since Greenberg fused Ace Ltd. with Chubb Corp. in 2016.

“While more fireworks are possible, Hartford’s refusal to engage in talks with Chubb could put the breaks on a deal for now,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Palazola said in an email. “We think it’s unlikely Chubb will continue to negotiate against itself absent other potential bidders.”

Hartford has long been considered a takeover candidate for the biggest insurers including Chubb, which could reap sizable cost savings, as well as major players in Europe, such as Allianz SE and Zurich Insurance Group AG.

After Chubb approached Hartford about a deal, Allianz was said to have mulled a counteroffer. Mergers and acquisitions among property and casualty insurers have been active in recent years. It’s the biggest sector within insurance.

Hartford shares, which are up about 36% since the start of the year, dropped 1.3% as of 11:41 a.m. in New York.

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