Harbinger Buys Old Mutual's U.S. Life Insurance Biz

Aug 6 2010 | 10:00am ET

Harbinger Capital Partners has agreed to buy Old Mutual's U.S. life insurance unit. Philip Falcone's hedge fund firm has agreed to pay $350 million for the business.

“The purchase of Old Mutual’s U.S. business is an attractive proposition," said Falcone, CEO of the $10 billion asset management firm. "As a result of our extensive review of Old Mutual’s U.S. business, we believe the company is well capitalized to meet its obligations to policyholders. We expect to realize substantial returns from continuing business improvements and Harbinger’s ability to enhance the value of the asset portfolio."

Leland Launer, Jr. will serve as chairman and CEO of the business. "As a former executive vice president and chief investment officer of MetLife, Inc., Lee is one of the industry’s most experienced and respected executives to take the company forward,” said Falcone.

Old Mutual’s U.S. Life operation provides term life and annuities to the US market. Last year it made an audited IFRS loss after tax of £80 million ($126 million). Its statutory capital at the end of the year was $819 million.

Clusterstock, which first reported about the acquisition yesterday, noted that Falcone has been eyeing various insurance assets for quite some time.

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