NU Online News Service, Aug. 17, 4:16 p.m. – The North Dakota Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 6 in Bismarck, N.D., on plans by Amerian United Mutual Insurance Holding Company, Indianapolis, to acquire Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Company, Fargo, N.D.
Pioneer is a policyholder-owned mutual life insurer that was founded by railroad workers in 1868. It reported $1.4 million in statutory net income for 2000 on $69 million on $69 million in revenue.
American United says it wants to acquire Pioneer by converting it to a stock charter, putting the Pioneer stock in the hands of a subsidiary, OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc., Indianapolis, and giving the Pioneer policyholders policy-based voting rights at American United.
American United could eventually demutualize and give the former Pioneer policyholder-owners cash or other compensation for their voting rights, but it has no current plans to demutualize, Pioneer executives report in a description of the acquisition plan.
Although the Pioneer policyholders will not cash payments, affiliating with a mutual holding company appears to be quicker and cheaper than a full demutualization, and it should give Pioneer the ability to keep some of its traditional mutual company culture, the Pioneer executives write in a discussion of their reasons for agreeing to the American United deal.