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Hartford Buys Back $2.43 Billion In Securities From Allianz

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) agreed to buy back $2.43 billion in securities from Allianz SE (ALIZF, AZSEY, ALV.XE) in order to give the company financial flexibility and improve its capital structure. The company agreed to repurchase junior subordinated debt with a principal amount of $1.75 billion, as well as all outstanding warrants entitling Allianz to roughly 16% of Hartford's common stock. After the repurchases go into effect, Allianz will hold around 5% of the company's shares. The repurchases are expected to close April 17. The German insurer made a $2.5 billion capital investment in Hartford in October 2008 to shore up the company during the credit crisis. Under the terms of the deal, Allianz bought $750 million of convertible preferred shares at $31 each and $1.75 billion in 10% junior subordinated debentures. Allianz also got 7-year warrants entitling it to purchase $1.75 billion of common stock at an exercise price of $25.32. Hartford has largely turned itself around since the financial crisis, repaying a $3.4 billion bailout from the U.S. government, raising its dividend and unveiling a share-repurchase plan. Its bottom line took a hit last year from natural disasters like Hurricane Irene and other costs. Shares were up 1.3% in premarket trading, to $21.36. -By Kristin Jones; Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2208;

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