The St. Paul Companies Inc. and Travelers Property Casualty Corp. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement that will create the nation’s second largest commercial insurer, to be known as The St. Paul Travelers Companies. The combined company will be a leading provider of property casualty insurance products distributed through independent agents and brokers and one of the largest financial services companies in the United States. It is expected to have total assets of $107 billion, shareholders’ equity of $20 billion, total capital of $26 billion and net written premiums of $20 billion.
The Board of Directors of each company unanimously agreed to the tax-free, stock-for-stock merger. Under the terms of the merger agreement, holders of Travelers Class A and Class B common stock will each receive 0.4334 St. Paul common shares for each Travelers share. The combined company is expected to pay dividends at the annual rate of $0.88 per share. In addition, The St. Paul expects to pay a special dividend to its shareholders prior to the closing, so that in 2004, shareholders of The St. Paul will receive dividends amounting to The St. Paul’s current indicated annual rate of $1.16 per share. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval by the shareholders of both companies as well as certain regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2004.
The St. Paul Travelers Companies will remain headquartered in Saint Paul, Minn. The specialty insurance lines, which will be known as St. Paul Specialty, will be based in Saint Paul. The St. Paul’s international business will continue to be based in London. The combined company’s commercial lines and personal lines business will be consolidated under the Travelers brand and based in Hartford, Conn. The company will also continue to own The St. Paul’s nearly 80 percent interest in Nuveen Investments, an asset management company serving affluent and high net worth investors.
Jay S. Fishman, 51, chairman and chief executive officer of The St. Paul, will serve as chief executive officer of the combined company, reporting to the new Board of Directors. Robert I. Lipp, 65, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers, will serve as the company’s executive chairman until Jan. 1, 2006, at which time it is anticipated that Mr. Fishman will become chairman as well as chief executive officer. The new Board of Directors will consist of all current outside directors of both companies including Lipp and Fishman, resulting in a total of 12 directors from Travelers and 11 from The St. Paul.
The company will rank second in domestic commercial lines, second in agent distributed personal lines, fifth overall among domestic property and casualty companies, and will be one of the top three commercial insurers in 42 states and the District of Columbia, according to direct written premium data compiled by A.M. Best.
The companies also announced that Charles J. Clarke, president of Travelers, will become vice chairman of The St. Paul Travelers Companies. Douglas G. Elliot, currently chief operating officer of Travelers, will become chief executive officer of the combined general commercial and personal lines businesses. T. Michael Miller, executive vice president and chief executive officer of specialty commercial at The St. Paul, will become chief executive officer of the combined specialty insurance operations. Marita Zuraitis, chief executive officer of The St. Paul’s commercial insurance operations, will become executive vice president of the combined company, initially focused on the integration process. She will also work with Fishman on operational strategy. Brian MacLean, executive vice president of claim at Travelers and Timothy M. Yessman, chief executive officer of claim at The St. Paul, will both become executive vice presidents in the combined claim operation. John A. MacColl, currently vice chairman of The St. Paul, will continue as a vice chairman of the combined company.
“We are committed to maintaining a strong presence in both Saint Paul and Hartford, where the two companies have long played meaningful financial, civic and philanthropic roles in their respective home cities,” Fishman and Lipp said. “We are confident that this transaction will yield tangible benefits to both communities. Saint Paul will serve as the corporate headquarters of our significantly larger and stronger financial services company and also will be home to our specialty lines business. At the same time, Hartford will be the base of operations for our commercial lines and personal lines businesses.”
Travelers was advised by Citigroup Global Markets and Lehman Brothers. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as Travelers’ legal counsel. The St. Paul was advised in the transaction by Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as legal counsel for The St. Paul.
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