A Greenberg Traurig legal team in Fort Lauderdale closed the $120 million purchase of a Michigan-based life insurance holding company.
An affiliate of Global Bankers Insurance Group, a family of life insurance and reinsurance companies, bought Pavonia Holdings (US) Inc., a life insurance company, from Enstar Group Ltd., which has over $12 billion in assets.
Greenberg Traurig shareholders Fred Karlinsky and Stanley “Stash” Jacobs Jr. led the team that represented the Global Bankers affiliate in the acquisition that closed Dec. 29.
The other attorneys who worked on the transaction were corporate shareholder Flora Perez, government and law policy senior practice attorney Andromeda Monroe and corporate associates Grant Levine and Alexander Zachariah.
Greenberg Traurig declined to disclose the name of the Global Bankers affiliate the law firm represented in the deal.
Global Bankers, which is part of the privately held Eli Global group, owns several life insurance companies and has been looking to grow and expand its portfolio.
“The simplest way for a company like Global to do this is by the purchase of a company, which effectively is the bulk sale of policies and assets,” Karlinsky said.
Like other acquisitions of insurance companies, this one had to be approved by regulators. Specifically, it received the approval of regulators in Michigan, where Pavonia is based.
Jacobs said the transaction first announced in February 2017 was a good example of the Greenberg Traurig team’s ability to work with regulators in several states.
“Insurance is something that’s regulated state by state, and there are different regulatory bodies that you find state by state,” Jacobs said. “And I think [it's] one of the unique things that you’ll find at Greenberg.”
To effectively work with insurance regulators in different states, attorneys have to be familiar with the legal nuances in each states, Karlinsky said.
“Every state has unique laws, although they are all very similar,” he said. “It’s a question when you are trying to work on these types of transactions of knowing the base set of laws, knowing any nuances in a particular state and knowing the regulator as well as to be able to get it approved effectively and efficiently.”
The Pavonia purchase won’t have any effect on its policyholders, according to Karlinsky. They should see no change based on the change of ownership.
Seller Enstar Group, a publicly traded company founded in Bermuda, bought Pavonia in 2013 from HSBC Finance.
Some of Global Bankers’ members are Chicago-based Bankers Life Insurance Co., Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co. and Southland National Insurance Corp. of Louisiana.
The acquisition of insurance companies and insurance holding companies is a growing part of transactions — and is expected to grow more.
“We are seeing a lot of interest in the insurance space by people to acquire companies like Pavonia,” Jacobs said. “And I think as we see clients be interested in growing bigger, we will be seeing a lot more transactions like this to come.”