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Alabama’s Protective Life closes $1.2 billion acquisition, largest in company history

Birmingham-based Protective Life Corporation has closed on the acquisition of Colorado’s Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (GWL&A), a deal representing a capital investment of approximately $1.2 billion and the largest acquisition in company history.

The announcement was made on Monday by Protective Life Corporation that its principal subsidiary, Protective Life Insurance Company, and Protective Life & Annuity Insurance Company have acquired via reinsurance substantially all of GWL&A’s individual life and annuity business.

“We are proud to announce the closing of our 57th acquisition,” Richard J. Bielen, Protective’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The transaction was originally announced on January 24.

Corporation subsidiary and flagship Protective Life Insurance Company was established in 1907 and now does business in all 50 states. The corporation itself is now a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (TSE:8750) of Japan as of 2015.

The GWL&A closing is expected to represent a capital investment by Protective of approximately $1.2 billion and is the company’s largest acquisition to date. The business being transferred, which has been marketed under the Great-West Financial brand, includes bank-owned and corporate-owned life insurance, single premium life insurance, individual annuities and a portion of Great-West’s closed block life insurance and annuities. GWL&A is retaining a block of participating policies, which will now be administered by Protective.

“This is an exciting time in Protective’s history,” Bielen advised. “The addition of this seasoned, stable block of business diversifies our product mix, while providing strategic opportunities in the bank distribution channel and competitive positioning in new markets. We look forward to the opportunity to serve more customers.”

This is the fourth acquisition completed since Protective became part of Dai-ichi in 2015. Dai-ichi considers Protective to be its North American growth platform and continues to aim for further expansion in the region, through both acquisitions and organic growth in Protective’s retail sales.

One of the Yellowhammer State’s largest corporations, Protective’s home office is located in Birmingham, and its nearly 3,000 employees are located in offices across America. Approximately 1,500 of those employees work in the Birmingham-metro area. As of March 31, the company had assets of approximately $92 billion.

This comes after the company recently acquired the naming rights for the multi-use stadium at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), which will now be named “Protective Stadium.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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