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Athene Acquires Fixed & Indexed Annuity Business

Everyone is talking this week about a big annuity purchase.  Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of Delaware, a subsidiary of Athene Holding Ltd. of Bermuda, purchased Presidential Life Corporation.  According to Marketwatch’s “Athene Annuity to buy Presidential Life,” the deal is worth $415 million in cash.  Athene hopes to increase their retail sales and their reinsurance with the purchase of Presidential Life.  They sell fixed annuity products as well as life, accident, and health insurance products.  Athene’s current focus is retail sales of fixed and indexed annuities and reinsurance.

The Chairman of Presidential Life said that this was one of many options reviewed for the company’s future.  The deal should be completed by the end of this year, after customary closing processes.  Shareholders will get $14 a share, which is a price they haven’t seen since 2008.  The shares have increased 36% recently to $13.78, but the $14/share is still 38% above what the stocks closed at on Thursday.  It had a 10% difference over the past year.

In Marketwatch’s “A.M. Best Comments on Ratings of Presidential Life Insurance Company and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company,” A.M. Best Company commented on both companies’ ratings.  They don’t foresee either company being downgraded from their current ratings because of this acquisition.  The financial strength rating of B++ (Good) along with an issuer credit rating of bbb+ will likely remain unchanged.  A.M. Best will closely monitor Athene Annuity to make sure they are handling the growth associated with their newest fixed annuity block.  However, Reuters says that Fitch ratings has put Athene on Ratings Watch Negative to monitor this purchase of Presidential Life.  After a review, they will determine whether the rate will increase or decrease, or stay the same.

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