NU Online News Service, May 30, 2003, 5:33 p.m. EDT – Bank One Corp., Chicago, has agreed to buy Zurich Life, Schaumburg, Ill., the U.S. life insurance and annuity unit of Zurich Financial Services Group, Zurich, for about $500 million in cash.
Bank One, a bank with $288 billion in assets, hopes to complete the deal by Sept. 30.
The deal is the second life company sale that Zurich Financial has announced in less than two weeks.
Zurich Financial reported May 22 that it has agreed to sell its Dutch life insurance business and its Dutch personal property-casualty insurance business to SNS Reaal Groep N.V., Utrecht, Netherlands, a Dutch bank insurance company.
Moody’s Investors Service, New York, and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, New York, both affirmed their Bank One credit ratings.
The Zurich Life deal is one of the biggest life insurer acquisitions any U.S. bank has announced since Congress eased longstanding restrictions on bank-insurer combinations. But the deal is still a “relatively moderate” investment for Bank One, Moody’s says.
“Even if the investment performs below Bank One’s expectations, it would not compromise Bank One’s creditworthiness,” Moody’s says.