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MetLife to separate U.S. Retail segment

Staff writer |
MetLife announced a plan to pursue the separation of a substantial portion of its U.S. Retail segment.

MetLife is currently evaluating structural alternatives for such a separation, including a public offering of shares in an independent, publicly traded company, a spin-off, or a sale.

The company is also undertaking preparations to complete the required financial statements and disclosures that would be required for a public offering or spin-off.

The completion of a transaction taking the U.S. Retail segment public would depend on, among other things, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing and review process as well as market conditions.

MetLife plans to include the following entities in the new company: MetLife Insurance Company USA, General American Life Insurance Company, Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company and several subsidiaries that have reinsured risks underwritten by MetLife Insurance Company USA.

The new company would represent, as of September 30, 2015, approximately 20% of the operating earnings of MetLife and 50% of the operating earnings of MetLife’s U.S. Retail segment.

The new company would have approximately $240 billion of total assets, including $45 billion currently reported in the Corporate Benefit Funding and Corporate and Other segments.

Approximately 60% of current U.S. variable annuity account values, including 75% of variable annuities with living benefit guarantees, are in entities that would be a part of the new company. The new company would also contain approximately 85% of the U.S. universal life with secondary guarantee business.

The parts of the U.S. Retail segment that would stay with MetLife are: the life insurance closed block, property-casualty, and the life and annuity business sold through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC). MLIC would no longer write new retail life and annuity business post-separation.

The new business is to be led by MetLife Executive Vice President Eric Steigerwalt. The complete management team of the new company, as well as its board of directors, is to be defined over time as preparations for the transaction take shape.

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