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Weekly news: Fidelity to acquire Stewart; proxy advisers OK Humana/Kindred deal

Risk and regulation

A Travis County court in Texas placed Access Insurance Co. into liquidation in the week of March 12, just a few days after California ordered the insurance company to stop writing any new or renewal insurance business, The Insurance Insider reported.

Idaho's chief insurance regulator said he may take the federal government to court if it blocks his approval to allow the sale of alternative health plans that circumvent Affordable Care Act rules, according to news reports.

The Oregon Department of Justice has ordered FamilyCare entities to turn over certain documents as it investigates possible violation of laws related to nonprofits and charities, the Portland Business Journal reported.

Humana Inc. agreed to pay $2.5 million in back wages and interest to settle allegations of pay discrimination against 753 women at the health insurance company's headquarters in Louisville, Ky.

Property and casualty

Fidelity National Financial Inc. has agreed to acquire Stewart Information Services Corp. for $50.00 per common share, subject to potential adjustment, representing an equity value of approximately $1.2 billion. If the deal is not completed for failure to obtain the required regulatory approvals, Fidelity is required to pay a reverse breakup fee of $50 million to Stewart.

Working out financial protection for an expected loss of revenues was a major hang-up for Fidelity National as it negotiated its acquisition of Stewart Information, said William Foley, chairman of Fidelity National.

Following the deal's announcement, Starboard Value LP and affiliates disclosed that they cut their stake in the Houston-based global real estate services company.

Fidelity National and Stewart Information shares rose the same week Fidelity National announced the acquisition of Stewart. Over the five-day trading period ended March 22, Stewart shares jumped 8.75% while shares of Fidelity National rose 5.91%.

IAT Insurance Group Inc. has agreed to acquire the renewal rights and certain associated assets for a book of Rockhill Insurance Group's surplus lines excess and umbrella insurance business. The acquired portfolio consists of nearly $40 million of in force premium.

Life and health

Some health insurers are less convinced that cost-sharing subsidies would help stabilize individual markets, instead favoring the ability to tinker with the minimum coverage benefits required under the Affordable Care Act. According to news reports, Congress is likely to eschew a measure to fund cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, the federal subsidies the government pays insurers to help cover high-risk and low-income individuals.

Kindred Healthcare Inc. said that proxy advisory companies Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Egan-Jones Ratings Company advised its shareholders to vote in favor of a $4.1 billion all-cash merger deal, wherein health insurance provider Humana, alongside private equity firms TPG Capital Management LP and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, will acquire the medical-facility operator at $9 per share.

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