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Mapfre in $2.2bn US auto acquisition

The acquisitive Spanish insurer Mapfre acquired US car insurer Commerce in a $2.2bn+ deal last week.

The deal sees Commerce - the 20th largest automobile insurer in the US generating almost $1.9bn in written premiums last year – merge with Mapfre’s US subsidiary, Magellan Acquisition Corp.

José Martínez, Mapfre chairman, said: “Not only is the acquisition of Commerce the largest in the history of our company, but it fits perfectly with Mapfre´s growth strategy and commitment to turn into a global insurance group.

“Furthermore, it represents a decisive step in Mapfre’s international expansion, especially in the United States.”

Mapfre paid $36.70 in cash per share of Commerce’s publicly traded stock, equivalent to a total consideration of $2.2bn.

Gerald Fels, Commerce chairman and CEO, said: “Becoming a part of the Mapfre Group benefits all of Commerce’s stakeholders and we are proud that we have grown our company from a small start-up in 1971 to a $2bn business that today becomes part of one of the world’s leading insurance groups.”

“This transaction underscores the commitment of our founder, our shareholders, directors, and employees over the last 37 years to building a world-class business.”

Commerce, which is licensed for insurance business in all 50 states, will continue to be headquartered in Massachusetts.

Mapfre added that the current management team would remain in place and all 2,400 staff would keep their jobs.

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