Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co. and Harleysville Group have agreed to merge.
Harleysville Mutual policyholders will become policyholders and members of Nationwide Mutual, and Nationwide will acquire all of the publicly held shares of stock of Harleysville Group for $60 per share.
The combination will expand Nationwide's distribution footprint, increase its commercial property and casualty insurance business and broaden its portfolio of products, the company said.
The combined organization will have an estimated net surplus of more than $13.5 billion and more than $16 billion in annual direct written premiums.
"With Harleysville's expertise in commercial lines and Nationwide's complementary geographic distribution, there will be a substantial opportunity to increase market share, while also providing our combined agents and customers access to a broader portfolio of insurance, financial and banking products," Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen said in a statement.
Said Harleysville President and CEO Michael Browne: "Harleysville is very pleased to join forces with Nationwide in a transaction that will enable us to expand our business for our independent agency partners and to enter important new markets from a position of even greater strength."
Under terms of the agreement, the 96-year-old Harleysville Mutual will merge into Nationwide Mutual. Harleysville Group, Harleysville Mutual's publicly traded subsidiary, will merge with a newly formed subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual. Each public stockholder of Harleysville Group will receive $60 per share in cash. Upon closing, Harleysville Group will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Nationwide.
Through the combination, Harleysville will join Nationwide's property and casualty independent agency business unit under the Harleysville brand. In addition, Harleysville's current headquarters in Harleysville, Pa., will serve as a key part of the combined company's national, independent agency-based platform.
Browne will become the president and COO of the Harleysville company.
The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, including, among others, approvals from stockholders of Harleysville Group; policyholders of Harleysville Mutual and Nationwide Mutual; the Pennsylvania Insurance Department; the Ohio Department of Insurance; and various other regulatory bodies. The transactions are expected to close in early 2012.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide provides individual insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans.
Harleysville Insurance provides insurance products and services for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as for individuals, through a network of independent agents across 32 states.