Voya Financial to Exit Individual Annuities Business
December 27, 2017 by Allison Prang
Voya Financial Inc. VOYA -0.92% is selling parts of its annuities businesses to a group of investors led by Apollo Global Management LLC and its affiliates, Crestview Partners and Reverence Capital Partners, the company said Thursday.
Voya said the deal—which is a sale of its individual fixed and fixed-indexed annuity business and almost all of its closed block variable-annuity business—would let it focus on its employee benefits, investment management and retirement businesses. The company also said the deal, expected to close in the second or third quarter of next year, would lower both its insurance and market risk.
“This is the right time to move forward with a more focused and higher-growth business mix,” said Voya Chief Executive Rodney Martin Jr. in prepared remarks.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Voya was negotiating a deal with fellow New York-based firm Apollo.
Voya is selling its Voya Insurance and Annuity Co. to Venerable Holdings Inc.—a new entity owned by the investor group—as part of the deal, the company said. Voya will have a 9.9% stake in that firm, worth $32 million.
People familiar with the transaction said Venerable would be an acquisition vehicle for more variable annuity blocks of business going forward.
Voya will retain some of its annuities business, including about $6 billion worth in investment-only products, it said. The company said it would conduct a strategic review of its individual life business during the first half of 2018.
Athene Holding Ltd. and Voya also agreed that Athene will reinsure about $19 billion worth of fixed and fixed-indexed annuity liabilities. Athene said it also plans to invest $75 million into Venerable.
Voya says the deal has a value of $1.1 billion, which includes a $400 million commission from Athene.
Shares in Voya rose 12% to $52.28 in afternoon trading Thursday, while Athene shares gained 3.4% to $52.45.
—Miriam Gottfried and Leslie Scism contributed to this report.
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