In some interesting news for the settlement community it was announced today that Liberty Mutual of Boston, MA had bid for and has an agreement to purchase Safeco Corp. The purchase which will be a combination of cash and debt issued by Liberty, a mutual company, is valued at $6.2 billion and will represent the second major purchase by Liberty in the last year.
This is a deal that makes a great deal of sense in that Liberty is primarily focused on East coast markets and Safeco is a major player in the Rocky Mountain region and Pacific Northwest. Safeco has languished with a low stock market valuation for some time now and this is on it's face a very good deal both for Liberty and for Safeco stockholders.
In the settlement world it consolidates one more casualty market under the Liberty umbrella and there will be some re-ordering of the settlement firms who handle the account for Safeco i'm sure once this is done.
This deal does not impact Symetra, the spin off from Safeco that is an independent operating entity and life market that has it's own structured settlement operation. I'm always amazed by the number of people who still think Symetra is a Safeco subsidiary when in fact that relationship ended some time ago.