HRG Group (HRG) CEO Omar Asali to Step Down; Company to Explore Strategic Alternatives
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HRG Group, Inc. (NYSE: HRG), a holding company that conducts its operations principally through Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPB), a branded consumer products company, and Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL), a life insurance and annuity products company, today announced that Omar Asali, President and Chief Executive Officer of HRG, plans to leave the Company in the second half of fiscal 2017 to establish a private investment vehicle that will make long-term investments in private and public companies.
Since HRG's inception in 2011, Mr. Asali has been responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Company and establishing the overall business strategy for HRG and its subsidiaries, including M&A and capital markets activities. During his tenure with the Company, HRG's market capitalization has increased from $140 million to today's market capitalization of approximately $3 billion, and the Company's key subsidiaries have achieved strong returns. In the five-year period ended September 30, 2016, SPB's share price has appreciated 500% compared to a gain of 92% for the S&P 500 and the Company's investment in FGL in 2011 has compounded at a total rate of return of nearly 400%.
The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors has initiated a process to explore the strategic alternatives available to the Company with a view to maximizing shareholder value. The Company's Board will work with HRG's management and will retain financial and legal advisors to assist it with this review. Strategic alternatives may include, but are not limited to, a merger, sale or other business combination involving the Company or its assets.
Drew McKnight, an HRG director, said, "I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Omar's contributions and the critical role that he has played in creating value for all HRG shareholders. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Omar and wish him the best with his future endeavors."
Mr. Asali said, "I would like to thank the HRG Board and employees, in particular David Maura, for all of their contributions to the success of the Company. I would also like to thank Philip Falcone for giving me the opportunity at HRG. I am proud of our accomplishments and will leave HRG for my next chapter knowing that the Company is well positioned for the next stage of its evolution."
"Our management team and the Board have been working to enhance stockholder value and, after careful review, we have decided that exploring alternatives to maximize value is in the best interests of all our stockholders," said Mr. Asali. "HRG owns terrific businesses that have a strong record of performance, and we believe that we have a unique opportunity to maximize value for all of our shareholders."
Mr. Asali further added, "As we have previously disclosed, FGL and Anbang have extended the outside date for completing FGL's merger with Anbang Insurance Group from November 7, 2016 to February 8, 2017, pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated November 8, 2015. Both parties are committed to securing the remaining regulatory approvals and closing the merger as soon as possible, however, the closing of the merger and the timing thereof is subject to the regulatory review and approval process, none of which can be assured."
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