Herbies closes £4bn Swiss Re deal

A raft of City firms led by Herbert Smith have completed the $7.4bn (£4bn) takeover of GE Insurance Solutions by Swiss Re, creating the world’s largest insurer.

As revealed by The Lawyer in November, when the deal was announced, Herbert Smith and German ally Gleiss Lutz won the mandate to advise Swiss Re on the acquisition.

The firms worked alongside Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison to complete the transaction for the Swiss reinsurer, which took the form of cash, a rights offer, mandatory convertibles and hybrid debt.

Meanwhile Weil Gotshal & Manges, Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May advised GE on the deal.

The deal sees Swiss Re taking over all of GE’s property and casualty reinsurance worldwide as well as the life and health business outside the US. The American and German entities were acquired in exchange for Swiss Re shares, which GE bought for $1.7bn. The company now holds 8.9 per cent of Swiss Re’s capital.