CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lincoln National Corp. agreed Monday to acquire Jefferson-Pilot Corp. in a $7.5 billion merger deal that creates one of the nation's biggest public life insurance companies.
The deal would combine Lincoln's strengths in life and annuities products with Greensboro-based Jefferson Pilot's sizable presence in fixed and variable universal life and fixed annuities, the companies said in a statement.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, will make Lincoln National the top-ranked seller of universal life product sales and a leading player in group disability sales and retirement plan assets.
In a conference call after the announcement, executives predicted annual cost savings of about $180 million after the merger.
"These two companies are a perfect fit," said Lincoln National Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Jon Boscia, who will keep the same role.
Besides the cost savings, Lincoln National said the acquisition should immediately add to its operating earnings and build to about 6 percent or 7 percent by the end of 2007.
The merged company will be based in Philadelphia and Greensboro will be the major center of operations for life insurance. Fort Wayne, Ind., will be the center for the company's annuity operations.