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MetLife mulls Chilean acquisition

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MetLife is in advance talks to acquire A.F.P. Provida, a Chilean company which administers pensions for Chilean citizens, according to sources.

John Nadel, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach, cited a report from Bloomberg estimates that a deal could be reached “within days or weeks.”

Nadel said that the Bloomberg story “is not the first mention of Met’s potential interest in Provida, but it is clearly the most specific in terms” of timing.

Provida is part of the Chilean pension system, and is the largest of the Chilean pension managers.

This system requires Chilean workers to contribute to privately-run pension plans that manage the money on their behalf for retirement.

Approximately 40 percent of Chilean workers invest their pensions with Provida; it has 29 percent of the market in terms of assets under management.

Nadel said Sterne Agee analysts believe that “such a deal clearly would fit within MetLife’s overall strategy in the Latin American market.

“Moreover, deployment of between $2.5 billion and $3 billion of capital (assuming premium between 15-35 percent) would be sensible, in our view, if uncertainties continue to persist around gaining regulatory approval to resume share repurchases and raise the common dividend,” Nadel said.

He also implied that MetLife might be acting for competitive reasons, noting that the Principal Financial Group recently acquired Cuprum, a leading Chilean pension company.


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