Chubb pulls plug on pursuit of Hartford

Chubb pulls plug on pursuit of Hartford

It’s official – Chubb has pulled the plug on its brief courtship with Hartford Financial Services Group (Hartford) following three unsuccessful takeover proposals.

Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg, who wanted the deal in order to expand Chubb’s capabilities in the market for small-business coverage, announced in a conference call on Wednesday: “The chapter with the Hartford is closed. We have moved along.”

The Hartford, a US property & casualty insurer with roots tracing back more than 200 years, was an unwilling target from the offset, describing Chubb’s initial advances as “unsolicited”. 

In total, the firm rejected three buyout offers, the largest of which valued the insurer at nearly US$25 billion, or US$70 per share.

Last week, Reuters reported that Hartford’s latest rejections do not come as a surprise as the longstanding P&C insurer is worth US$80 per share or more, according to analysts.

Following Greenberg’s comments on Wednesday, shares of Hartford fell as much as 5.2%, according to Bloomberg, marking the biggest intraday drop in more than six months.

Hartford has long attracted the eye of acquisitive suitors. After Chubb’s initial non-binding takeover bid worth US$23 billion, sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that Allianz was privately considering making a counteroffer for Hartford.