FGL’s board “is continuing to evaluate strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value and has received interest from a number of parties,” the company said Monday in a statement. “FGL has no remaining obligations under the merger agreement and may enter into an alternative transaction.”
The U.S. insurer agreed in 2015 to the Anbang deal at a price of $26.80 a share. But Anbang struggled to win regulatory approval, and valuations of U.S. life insurers climbed, giving Des Moines, Iowa-based FGL incentive to find a new buyer. Under terms of a February amendment, FGL was permitted to cancel the agreement Monday. Athene Holding Ltd., the annuity seller with ties to Apollo Global Management LLC, has been weighing a plan to pursue FGL, people familiar with the plan said in February.
“We believe Athene is the favorite to buy FGL, assuming the Anbang deal breaks,” analysts led by Ryan Krueger at Keefe Bruyette & Woods said in a note to clients Sunday.