Holocaust Issues Delay Munich Re Acquisition

June 26, 2000

A ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will further delay Munich Re subsidiary, American Re’s purchase of Pennsylvania based asset management company, United National Group.

A lower court judge had ordered the Pennsylvania insurance Commissioner to rule on the acquisition within 17 days, but the higher court voided this order, and, according to a report from Reuters News Agency, ordered the court to make specific findings to support its conclusions that American Re would suffer irreparable harm, and to reexamine the issues of harm to the Insurance Department and any adverse impact affecting the public interest.

Until these findings are made, and any appeals taken from the judgment are determined, the acquisition is effectively blocked; unless the Commissioner decides to make a decision.

Several states have adopted policies, enforced by the state body responsible for regulating insurance matters, to prevent European companies, with potential holocaust related claims against them, from acquiring insurance and other properties in the state.

Munich Re, although it has expressed willingness to join international commissions set up to examine holocaust claims, has denied any direct responsibility. It maintains that, as a reinsurer, it never issued any policies to individuals only to primary insurers.

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