Mass. Adds Its OK to St. Paul-Travelers Merger

March 23, 2004

The proposed Travelers-St. Paul merger has received another endorsement as the Massachusetts Division of Insurance has given its approval to the acquisition by St. Paul of Premier Insurance Co., the Massachusetts stock company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelers.

Commissioner Julianne Bowler signed off on the approval on March 19. The order found that the merger would not substantially lessen competition in the state, nor harm the financial condition of Premier or its policyholders.

Premier is a stand-alone insurer dedicated to auto and homeowners risks in Massachusetts only. St. Paul has no auto writings in the state. Following the merger, the combined company will have a 9.62 market share in the state.

Premier, based in Worcester, has about 500 employees and uses independent agents to distribute its products.

The decision, relying on testimony from a February 25 public hearing, noted that Premier has no plans to liquidate assets or make any material changes to the business structure or management.

Last week, after the Connecticut Insurance Department approved it, shareholders of the two companies also approved the St. Paul-Travelers deal. The deal is expected to close soon, as decisions from only a handful of state regulators remain.

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