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New York regulators look into Athene’s $1.55bn acquisition of Aviva unit

16 Jul 2013

insurance contract formNew York financial regulators are reportedly looking into the proposed $1.55bn takeover of insurer Aviva’s US annuity business by private equity firm Apollo-backed Athene Holding.

The New York Department of Financial Services is concerned that investment firms such as Apollo are increasingly becoming involved in fixed annuities through their relationships with insurers, said the Wall Street Journal.

The regulators are currently in talks with Apollo about tougher disclosure and capital requirements to determine whether to approve the deal, said the Journal, citing people familiar with the talks.

Athene CEO James Belardi said that the company is “cooperating fully” with the regulators.

The takeover was announced in January with Apollo agreeing to spend up to $100m to back the deal.

Apollo emerged as the lead bidder for the US assets in November, ahead of Harbinger Capital Partners and Guggenheim Partners.

The three firms have been buying unwanted units from life insurers since 2009 to gain access to a stable source of funds for investment management operations.

Earlier this month it was reported that Apollo held a $6.8bn first close for its $12bn fund.

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