NU Online News Service, April 9, 2003, 4:48 p.m. EDT – Insurance companies announced 55 mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter, down from 68 in the first quarter of 2002, according to SNL Financial L.C., Charlottesville, Va.

Acquirers were paying an average of only 79% of the target’s book value, but total announced deal value increased to $648 million, up from $149 million for the first quarter of 2002.