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Global Bankers Affiliate Makes $120 Million Life Insurer Purchase

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An arm of the Eli Global group has completed a $120 million purchase of a Michigan-based life insurance holding company.

An affiliate of Global Bankers Insurance Group, a family of life insurance and reinsurance companies, recently bought Pavonia Holdings (US) Inc., a life insurance company, from Enstar Group Ltd., which has over $12 billion in assets.

(Related: Enstar to Acquire U.S., Canadian Closed-Life Operations from HSBC)

Global Bankers is part of the privately held Eli Global group.

Pavonia owns Pavonia Life Insurance Company of Michigan, Pavonia Life Insurance Company of New York, and Enstar Life (US), Inc. Enstar acquired the Pavonia business from HSBC Finance in 2013.

Greenberg Traurig shareholders Fred Karlinsky and Stanley “Stash” Jacobs Jr. led the team of legal advisors that represented the Global Bankers affiliate in the acquisition that closed Dec. 29.

The other attorneys who worked on the transaction were corporate shareholder Flora Perez, government and law policy senior practice attorney Andromeda Monroe and corporate associates Grant Levine and Alexander Zachariah.

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P served as Global Bankers’ financial advisor.

Global Bankers owns several life insurance companies and has been looking to grow and expand its portfolio.

“The simplest way for a company like Global to do this is by the purchase of a company, which effectively is the bulk sale of policies and assets,” Karlinsky said.

Other Global Bankers insurance company affiliates include Florida-based Bankers Life Insurance Co., Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Southland National Insurance Corp. of Louisiana.

Jacobs said the transaction, which was first announced in February 2017, was a good example of the Greenberg Traurig team’s ability to work with regulators in several states.

“Insurance is something that’s regulated state by state, and there are different regulatory bodies that you find state by state,” Jacobs said. “And I think [it's] one of the unique things that you’ll find at Greenberg.”

The Pavonia purchase won’t have any effect on its policyholders, according to Karlinsky. They should see no change based on the change of ownership.

Deals for insurance companies and insurance holding companies account for a large share of mergers and acquisitions — and the share is expected to continue to grow.

“We are seeing a lot of interest in the insurance space by people to acquire companies like Pavonia,” Jacobs said.

Correction: The original version of  this article identified Bankers Life Insurance Co.’s home state incorrectly. Bankers Life is based in Florida.

— Read Firm To Sell Products From Fort Dearborn Affiliate on ThinkAdvisor.

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