Though Prudential PLC has lost its bid to acquire American General Corp., the London-based insurer is not giving up on its goal of expanding its U.S. retirement business.
On Friday, American General accepted a rival bid from American International Group of New York for $23 billion in stock. (See related story on page 8.) AIG made the offer in early April, when the worth of Prudentials stock offer had tumbled after investors on both sides of the Atlantic questioned the deal. Prudentials offer was worth $26 billion on March 12, when American General accepted it, and $20 billion at the time of AIGs offer.
Well, were in receipt of $600 million, and thats great, said Steve Colton, a spokesman for Prudential, referring to a $600 million breakup fee American General paid Prudential. Clearly its a disappointment, because we believed American General was an excellent business. But these things happen, and we move on.
Prudential PLC, which owns Lansing, Mich.-based Jackson National Life Insurance, is continuing to look for other ways to increase the business, he said.
Were looking, and its an ongoing process, Mr. Colton said. Were not going to put a timetable on it. Will there be a knee-jerk reaction? Absolutely not. Well take our time and if and when the right deal comes along, well make it. Another deal is going to come along.
Mr. Colton declined to say what kind of company Prudential was looking to buy. In March, Prudential said one reason a merger with American General would succeed is that the distribution channels used by American General and Jackson National were complementary. American General is a big player in distributing annuities through banks, while Jackson National is large in broker-dealer circles.
Were not committed to buying another company that is a big player in banks, Mr. Colton said. Were not committed to anything in particular, other than increasing our business in the U.S.