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Claims News Service, Apr. 23, 3:37 p.m. EST — As part of a deal that will make Liberty Mutual Group the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S., the company has agreed to purchase Safeco Corporation. Valued at $6.2 billion, the transaction stipulates that each share of Safeco stock be sold to Liberty for $68.25 cash. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the transaction; however, Safeco’s shareholders must grant approval as well. All parties involved expect that the transaction will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2008, at which point Safeco will join Liberty Mutual’s Agency Markets business unit. Agency Markets, which currently employs a workforce of 7,000, reported $5.6 billion in revenues in 2007 alone. Combined, the organization will have about 15,000 independent agencies.

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