Liberty Mutual Holding Co. has finalized its acquisition of State Auto Financial Corp., according to the acquiring firm, which purchased all of State Auto’s publicly held shares for approximately $1 billion in an all-cash deal.
The transaction was initially announced last year, which was the fourth busiest year for insurance M&A activity in the past decade.
“Across Liberty Mutual and State Auto, we have a shared commitment to the Independent Agency channel and being the carrier of choice for independent agents,” Hamid Mirza, Liberty Mutual President & COO, global retail markets U.S., said in a release. “We are closely aligned in how we put people first, strive to make things better, and behave with integrity every day. Together, we’ll be a leader in both the personal lines and small commercial insurance markets, helping policyholders when they need it most and giving our people more opportunities to grow and thrive.”
The transaction will bring $2.3 billion in premium to Liberty Mutual, making it the second-largest carrier in the independent agent channel, according to the company. More than 2,000 State Auto employees will join Liberty Mutual’s global retail markets U.S. business unit.
In addition to products and talent, the transaction gives the acquiring firm access to State Auto’s distribution network, which includes approximately 3,4000 independent retail agencies in 33 states, according to Richard Angevine, senior public relations consultant for Liberty Mutual.
“State Auto Group’s agency network, product expertise and geographic reach made it a great complement to Liberty Mutual’s domestic personal lines and small commercial business,” Angevine tells PropertyCasualty360.com. “While we’ve made great progress rapidly accelerating our organic growth, the acquisition helps us gain scale quickly. In fact, it made us the second-largest carrier serving the independent agent channel, up from the third”
For most of 2022, the two insurance companies will operate as separate businesses, Angevine explains, adding: “We understand the value of the State Auto name, reputation and brand, and will utilize the State Auto trademarks and brand. Liberty Mutual will operate out of State Auto’s headquarters located in Columbus, Ohio.”
Garland named State Auto president
As part of the closing, Liberty Mutual is immediately appointing Kim Garland president of State Auto.
Kim Garland, president of State Auto. (Credit: Businesswire)Kim Garland, president of State Auto. (Credit: Businesswire)
Since joining State Auto in 2015, Garland has held roles including senior vice president of personal and commercial lines. He also helped establish and served as managing director of the State Auto Labs, the company’s corporate venture capital fund. Additionally, Garland led the rebuilding and restructuring of State Auto’s personal and commercial lines business.
Before joining State Auto, Garland was chief product officer for AIG’s global P&C consumer division.
“We bring together two organizations of passionate, driven, and talented individuals,” Garland said in a release. “Our combined strength allows us to significantly expand our relationships with independent agents and brokers, and make more strategic investments in the independent agent channel to continue driving profitable growth.”
Articel By Steve Hallo