AIG's Chartis offers $571 million buyout for Fuji Fire

TOKYO Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:38am EST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Chartis Inc, a property insurance unit of American International Group (AIG.N), said on Thursday it would make a tender offer to buy the rest of Fuji Fire and Marine 8763.T for about 47 billion yen ($571 million) to revamp the Japanese insurer's operations.

Chartis, which already owns 54.7 percent of the mid-sized insurer, is offering to buy Fuji shares at 146 yen per share between February 14 and March 24, representing a 25.9 percent premium to Thursday's closing share price.

Japan's 8 trillion yen property-casualty insurance market has been in a steady decline as the country's aging population buys fewer cars and builds fewer homes.

The trend has triggered a major industry consolidation in recent years with the formation of three leading companies, MS&AD Insurance (8275.T), Tokio Marine Holdings (8766.T) and NKSJ Holdings (8630.T).

Chartis said it and Fuji had decided the buyout would allow swift and drastic restructuring of the company in the current business environment.

($1=82.36 Yen)

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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