FGL Holdings, the parent company of Des Moines-based annuity provider and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life, announced it has entered into a merger agreement with Fidelity National Financial Inc., a leading title insurance company. Fidelity National Financial (FNF) will acquire F&G for $12.50 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $2.7 billion. 

Under the terms of the merger agreement, holders of F&G's ordinary shares may elect to receive either $12.50 per share in cash or just over one-quarter of a share of FNF common stock for each ordinary share of F&G they own. Upon closing of the transaction, F&G shareholders will own approximately 7% of the outstanding shares of FNF common stock. This represents a premium of 28% to F&G's 60-day volume-weighted average price, the companies said in a press release.

"We are pleased to join forces with FNF, a world-class company we know well and respect,"  Chris Blunt, president and CEO of FGL Holdings, said in a prepared statement. "This agreement, which offers immediate value to F&G shareholders and compelling benefits to our stakeholders, will provide a meaningful platform for our business as we continue to build the F&G of the future. We are excited to enter into the next phase of growth with FNF and are confident that by combining our complementary businesses, we will be better positioned to carry out our mission of helping customers turn their aspirations into reality." 

Based in Jacksonville, Fla., FNF is the nation's largest title insurance company through its title insurance underwriters — Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title, Alamo Title and National Title of New York — that collectively issue more title insurance policies than any other title company in the United States, according to the company’s website. 

FGL Holdings said that its current management team led by Blunt will remain in place. Additionally, with the transaction, F&G said it is enhancing and extending its long-term investment management partnership with multinational private equity firm Blackstone Group, which, following the close of the transaction, will continue under FNF.  

“This agreement will continue to provide [F&G] with access to Blackstone's superior investment management and strategic oversight capabilities to drive additional value creation for F&G and policyholders, while continuing F&G's current focus on high-quality investment grade assets under the current F&G investment team,” F&G said in its release. 

Fidelity & Guaranty Life moved its headquarters to Des Moines from Baltimore in November 2013, and in May 2017 an acquisition company created by former Blackstone Group partner Chinh Chu and Fidelity National Financial Inc. Chairman William Foley II acquired Fidelity & Guaranty for $1.84 billion in an all-cash deal.  

In December, Fidelity & Guaranty Life Co. announced plans to move its offices from Two Ruan Center to a larger space in 801 Grand downtown in late 2020. With that move, F&G said it plans to hire about 60 more employees to its current 200-person staff. The Iowa Economic Development Authority in December awarded the company tax incentives for the move, which represents a $5.6 million capital investment by F&G.