Marsh & McLennan Companies has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell Putnam Investments for $3.9 billion in cash to Great-West Lifeco, a financial services holding company controlled by Canada-based Power Financial Corporation. The deal is set to close by mid-year subject to regulatory and client approval. Putnam had $192b under management at the end of '06. Regarding the deal, MMC's president and CEO commented, "We will receive an attractive price for Putnam, strengthen our ability to focus on our core businesses, and significantly enhance our financial flexibility." He mentions the possibility of using the proceeds along with cash flow to further invest in core businesses as well as stock repurchases and debt reduction. The Wall Street Journal reported of a provisional MMC-Power Financial deal last month. Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch advised MMC on the transaction. MMC's shares lost 0.3% closing at $29.50 in normal trading yesterday.
Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: Power Corp. To Acquire Putnam for $3.9 Billion • A General Insurance Brokers Story • Putnam May Fetch a Good Offer Despite Difficulties
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC). Competitors: American International Group (AIG), Aon (AOC), ING Group (ING). ETFs: streetTRACKS KBW Insurance (KIE)
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