By Dave Sebastian

 

Athene Holding Ltd. said it has ended its bid with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to buy American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. for about $3 billion after American Equity rejected the offer and reached a partnership with Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

"Since the board of directors of American Equity has decided to reject our joint proposal, we will continue with the execution of our standalone strategy," Athene said Monday.

Shares of American equity fell 12.5%, to $28.25. Athene shares rose 0.6%, to $35.50. Brookfield shares rose 1%, to 44.93 Canadian dollars ($34.13).

The proposed deal bet that the small Iowa insurer's retirement-income products will continue to be popular with conservative voters. Under the proposed combination, MassMutual would acquire American Equity's insurance subsidiaries and all of its employees, brands and distribution agreements. MassMutual would reinsure 80% of American's existing business to Athene and retain the remaining 20%.

Brookfield will receive one seat on American Equity's board, according to the agreement disclosed on Sunday. American Equity said it had been in discussions with Brookfield since March. The deal, American Equity said, would give it access to Brookfield's higher-returning alternative asset strategies, which are particularly important given the low-interest rate environment.

 

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2020 10:39 ET (14:39 GMT)

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