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Ex-Falcone insurer FGL surges as Leucadia-backed HRG weighs sale

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(Bloomberg) — Fidelity & Guaranty Life, the insurer that was previously controlled by hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone, surged the most since 2013 after HRG Group Inc. said it was weighing a sale of the company.

FGL rallied 9.3 percent to $22.72 at 9:51 a.m. in New York trading, giving it a market capitalization of more than $1.3 billion. HRG climbed 2.5 percent.

HRG, which was known as Harbinger Group Inc. when it was led by Falcone, said Monday that it was considering the divestiture of its entire 81 percent stake in Des Moines, Iowa- based FGL, or a portion of the holding.

The insurer has reshaped leadership as Leucadia National Corp. increased its investment and oversight at New York-based HRG. Leucadia Chairman Joseph Steinberg was named last month to lead the board of FGL, and in November replaced Falcone as Harbinger’s chairman.

“FGL has a seasoned board and management team, a strong balance sheet, and is well positioned to continue to deliver on its strategy of providing valuable insurance products to the middle market,” HRG Chief Executive Officer Omar Asali said in a statement Monday.