Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company and Harleysville Group Inc., Harleysville, Pa. (NASDAQ:HGIC), announced that their policyholders and shareholders, respectively, have voted to approve the adoption of the proposed merger with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
At a special meeting of Harleysville Mutual policyholders, 14.1% of eligible votes were cast by policyholders as of the record date of March 1, and 87.4% of the votes were cast in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement. At a special meeting of Harleysville Group shareholders, 89.9% of eligible votes were cast by shareholders as of the record date of Feb. 29, and 99.8% of the votes were cast in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department already approved the merger. In addition, Nationwide Mutual policyholders have voted in favor of the merger. Regulatory approval is still required in certain other states. The transaction is expected to close sometime in the second quarter.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Harleysville Mutual policyholders will become policyholders and members of Nationwide Mutual, and Nationwide will acquire all of the publicly held shares of common stock of Harleysville Group for $60 per share in cash.
In other industry news:
MetLife Inc., New York, N.Y. (NYSE: MET), reported first quarter 2012 operating earnings of $1.5 billion, or $1.37 per share, up 11% over the first quarter of 2011. Premiums, fees and other revenues of $11.6 billion, up 7% over the first quarter of 2011, reflect strong growth in all three geographic regions – the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Net investment income of $5.1 billion, up 6% over the first quarter of 2011, driven by solid recurring income; variable investment income was within the plan range for the quarter.
Metlife reported a first quarter 2012 net loss of $174 million, or $0.16 per share, which was driven by derivative net losses of $1.3 billion, after tax, that were largely due to increases in interest rates and MetLife’s lower credit spreads during the quarter.
MetLife uses derivatives in connection with its broader portfolio management strategy to hedge a number of risks, including changes in interest rates and fluctuations in foreign currencies. Movement in interest rates, foreign currencies and MetLife’s credit spreads – which impact the valuation of certain insurance liabilities – can generate derivative gains or losses. Derivative gains or losses related to MetLife’s credit spreads do not have an economic impact on the company.
Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa (NYSE: PFG), reported operating earnings of $213.0 million for first quarter 2012, compared to $219.8 million for first quarter 2011. Operating earnings per diluted share were $0.70 for first quarter 2012, compared to $0.68 for first quarter 2011. The company reported net income available to common stockholders of $201.5 million, or $0.66 per diluted share for first quarter 2012, compared to $182.0 million, or $0.56 per diluted share for first quarter 2011. This reflects net realized capital losses of $10.0 million, which includes:
- $18.7 million of net losses related to sales and permanent impairments of fixed maturity securities, including $14.3 million of losses on commercial mortgage backed securities;
- $2.8 million of losses on commercial mortgage whole loans.
Operating revenues for first quarter 2012 were $2,107.4 million compared to $2,047.5 million for the same period last year.