April 18, 2017 / 8:39 AM / 5 months ago

FGL terminates takeover deal by Chinese insurer Anbang

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters building of Anbang Insurance Group are pictured in Beijing, China, August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

SHANGHAI - U.S. annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life (FGL) (FGL.N) said on Tuesday it has terminated its agreement to be acquired by Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd, becoming the latest deal involving the Chinese insurer to have fallen through in recent years.

Reuters reported earlier that Anbang would let its agreement to acquire FGL for $1.6 billion lapse after failing to secure all necessary regulatory approvals.

The development casts new doubt on Anbang’s commitment to U.S. deals, following its abandoned attempt last year to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc for $14 billion.

It also comes amid a sharp fall in Chinese outbound deals as authorities strengthen curbs over capital outflows. China’s non-financial outbound direct investment fell 30.1 percent in March from a year earlier, according to government data published on Tuesday.

Starwood is the most high-profile deal Anbang has abandoned, although the Chinese firm has previously bowed out of several other smaller deals.

Anbang did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

FGL said in a statement it was looking at alternative strategies and “has received interest from a number of parties.”

Anbang’s FGL acquisition bid had received clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that scrutinizes deals for potential national security concerns, but was unable to get past some U.S. state regulators.

Established in 2004, Anbang burst onto the global scene from near obscurity by signing more than $30 billion worth of corporate deals in the last 2-1/2 years, including a $1.95 billion purchase of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

Corporate records in China show Anbang is owned by 39 privately held and little-known companies scattered across China.

Reporting by Engen Tham in SHANGHAI and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Additional reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher Cushing

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