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American Financial to Buy Liberty Mutual Insurance Unit

By Alexandria Baca, January 9, 2014

American Financial Group Inc. (AFG), the insurer run by Cincinnati’s Lindner family, agreed to buy Summit Holdings Southeast Inc. from Liberty Mutual Group Inc. for about $250 million to build its workers’ compensation business.

The total investment in Summit will be about $400 million, including a capital contribution at the completion of the all-cash deal, which is expected by June 30, American Financial said in statement today. The eventual purchase price is tied to fluctuations in Summit’s book value.

American Financial is expanding its operation protecting employers against the cost of worker injuries as the economy recovers and clients add staff. The insurer also provides annuities and crop insurance.

“New business opportunities, increased exposures from higher payroll and existing accounts, strong retentions and higher renewal pricing have contributed to the strong growth” in workers’ compensation, American Financial co-Chief Executive Officer Carl Lindner III said in an Oct. 30 earnings call.

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