Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
December 11, 2018
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 628
STOCK AND MUTUAL INSURERS; HOLDING COMPANIES
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 628.461
628.461 Acquisition of controlling stock.
(1) A person may not, individually or in conjunction with any affiliated person of such person, acquire directly or indirectly, conclude a tender offer or exchange offer for, enter into any agreement to exchange securities for, or otherwise finally acquire 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of a domestic stock insurer or of a controlling company, unless:
(a) The person or affiliated person has filed with the office and sent to the insurer and controlling company a letter of notification regarding the transaction or proposed transaction within 5 days after any form of tender offer or exchange offer is proposed, or within 5 days after the acquisition of the securities if no tender offer or exchange offer is involved. The notification must be provided on forms prescribed by the commission containing information determined necessary to understand the transaction and identify all purchasers and owners involved;
(b) The person or affiliated person has filed with the office the statement as specified in subsection (3). The statement must be completed and filed within 30 days after:
1. Any definitive acquisition agreement is entered;
2. Any form of tender offer or exchange offer is proposed; or
3. The acquisition of the securities, if no definitive acquisition agreement, tender offer, or exchange offer is involved; and
(c) The office has approved the tender or exchange offer, or acquisition if no tender offer or exchange offer is involved, and approval is in effect.

A filing required under this subsection must be made for any acquisition that equals or exceeds 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities.

(2) This section does not apply to any acquisition of voting securities of a domestic stock insurer or of a controlling company by any person who, on July 1, 1976, is the owner of a majority of such voting securities or who, on or after July 1, 1976, becomes the owner of a majority of such voting securities with the approval of the office under this section. The person or affiliated person filing the notice required by paragraph (1)(a) may request, in writing, the office to waive the requirements of paragraph (1)(b) if there is no change in the ultimate controlling shareholder or ownership percentages of the ultimate controlling shareholders and no unaffiliated parties acquire any direct or indirect interest in the insurer. The office may waive the filing if it determines that in fact there is no change in the ultimate controlling shareholder or ownership percentages of the ultimate controlling shareholders and no unaffiliated parties will acquire any direct or indirect interest in the insurer.
(3) The statement to be filed with the office under subsection (1) and furnished to the insurer and controlling company must contain all the following information and any additional information that the office deems necessary to determine the character, experience, ability, and other qualifications of the person or affiliated person of such person for the protection of the policyholders and shareholders of the insurer and the public:
(a) The identity of, and the background information specified in subsection (4) on, each natural person by whom, or on whose behalf, the acquisition is to be made; and, if the acquisition is to be made by, or on behalf of, a corporation, association, or trust, as to the corporation, association, or trust and as to any person who controls, directly or indirectly, the corporation, association, or trust, the identity of, and the background information specified in subsection (4) on, each director, officer, trustee, or other natural person performing duties similar to those of a director, officer, or trustee for the corporation, association, or trust.
(b) The source and amount of the funds or other consideration used, or to be used, in making the acquisition.
(c) Any plans or proposals that such persons may have made to liquidate such insurer, to sell any of its assets or merge or consolidate it with any person, or to make any other major change in its business or corporate structure or management; and any plans or proposals that such persons may have made to liquidate any controlling company of such insurer, to sell any of its assets or merge or consolidate it with any person, or to make any other major change in its business or corporate structure or management.
(d) The number of shares or other securities that the person or affiliated person of such person proposes to acquire, the terms of the proposed acquisition, and the manner in which the securities are to be acquired.
(e) Information as to any contract, arrangement, or understanding with any party with respect to any of the securities of the insurer or controlling company, including, but not limited to, information relating to the transfer of any of the securities, option arrangements, puts or calls, or the giving or withholding of proxies, which information names the party with whom the contract, arrangement, or understanding has been entered into and gives the details thereof.
(f) Effective January 1, 2015, an agreement by the person required to file the statement that the person will provide the annual report specified in s. 628.801(2) if control exists.
(g) Effective January 1, 2015, an acknowledgment by the person required to file the statement that the person and all subsidiaries within the person’s control in the insurance holding company system will provide, as necessary, information to the office upon request to evaluate enterprise risk to the insurer.
(4)(a) The information as to the background and identity of each person, which information is required to be furnished pursuant to paragraph (3)(a), shall include:
1. The person’s occupations, positions of employment, and offices held during the past 10 years.
2. The principal business and address of any business, corporation, or other organization in which each such office of the person was held or in which each such occupation or position of employment was carried on.
3. Whether the person was, at any time during such 10-year period, convicted of any crime other than a traffic violation.
4. Whether the person has been, during such 10-year period, the subject of any proceeding for the revocation of any license and, if so, the nature of the proceeding and the disposition of the proceeding.
5. Whether, during the 10-year period, the person has been the subject of any proceeding under the federal 1Bankruptcy Act or whether, during the 10-year period, any corporation, partnership, firm, trust, or association in which the person was a director, officer, trustee, partner, or other official has been subject to any such proceeding, either during the time in which the person was a director, officer, trustee, partner, or other official or within 12 months thereafter.
6. Whether, during the 10-year period, the person has been enjoined, either temporarily or permanently, by a court of competent jurisdiction from violating any federal or state law regulating the business of insurance, securities, or banking, or from carrying out any particular practice or practices in the course of the business of insurance, securities, or banking, together with details as to any such event.
(b) Any corporation, association, or trust filing the statement required by this section shall give all required information that is within the knowledge of the directors, officers, or trustees (or others performing functions similar to those of a director, officer, or trustee) of the corporation, association, or trust making the filing and of any person controlling either directly or indirectly such corporation, association, or trust. A copy of the statement and any amendments to the statement shall be sent by registered mail to the insurer at its principal office within the state and to any controlling company at its principal office. If any material change occurs in the facts set forth in the statement filed with the office and sent to such insurer or controlling company pursuant to this section, an amendment setting forth such changes shall be filed immediately with the office and sent immediately to such insurer and controlling company.
(5)(a) The acquisition of voting securities shall be deemed approved unless the office disapproves the proposed acquisition within 90 days after the statement required by subsection (1) has been filed. The office may on its own initiate, or if requested to do so in writing by a substantially affected party shall conduct, a proceeding to consider the appropriateness of the proposed filing. The 90-day time period shall be tolled during the pendency of the proceeding. Any written request for a proceeding must be filed with the office within 10 days of the date notice of the filing is given. During the pendency of the proceeding or review period by the office, any person or affiliated person complying with the filing requirements of this section may proceed and take all steps necessary to conclude the acquisition so long as the acquisition becoming final is conditioned upon obtaining office approval. The office shall, however, at any time that it finds an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare of the domestic policyholders exists, immediately order, pursuant to s. 120.569(2)(n), the proposed acquisition temporarily disapproved and any further steps to conclude the acquisition ceased.
(b) During the pendency of the office’s review of any acquisition subject to the provisions of this section, the acquiring person shall not make any material change in the operation of the insurer or controlling company unless the office has specifically approved the change nor shall the acquiring person make any material change in the management of the insurer unless advance written notice of the change in management is furnished to the office. A material change in the operation of the insurer is a transaction which disposes of or obligates 5 percent or more of the capital and surplus of the insurer. A material change in the management of the insurer is any change in management involving officers or directors of the insurer or any person of the insurer or controlling company having authority to dispose of or obligate 5 percent or more of the insurer’s capital or surplus. The office shall approve a material change in operation if it finds the applicable provisions of subsection (7) have been met. The office may disapprove a material change in management if it finds that the applicable provisions of subsection (7) have not been met and in such case the insurer shall promptly change management as acceptable to the office.
(c) If a request for a proceeding is filed, the proceeding shall be conducted within 60 days after the date the written request for a proceeding is received by the office. A recommended order shall be issued within 20 days of the date of the close of the proceedings. A final order shall be issued within 20 days of the date of the recommended order or, if exceptions to the recommended order are filed, within 20 days of the date the exceptions are filed.
(6) The office may disapprove any acquisition subject to the provisions of this section by any person or any affiliated person of such person who:
(a) Willfully violates this section;
(b) In violation of an order of the office issued pursuant to subsection (10), fails to divest himself or herself of any stock obtained in violation of this section, or fails to divest himself or herself of any direct or indirect control of such stock, within 25 days after such order; or
(c) In violation of an order issued by the office pursuant to subsection (10), acquires additional stock of the domestic insurance company or controlling company, or direct or indirect control of such stock, without complying with this section.
(7) The person or persons filing the statement required by subsection (1) shall have the burden of proof. The office shall approve any such acquisition if it finds, on the basis of the record made during any proceeding or on the basis of the filed statement if no proceeding is conducted, that:
(a) Upon completion of the acquisition, the domestic stock insurer will be able to satisfy the requirements for the issuance of a license to write the line or lines of insurance for which it is presently licensed;
(b) The financial condition of the acquiring person or persons will not jeopardize the financial stability of the insurer or prejudice the interests of its policyholders or the public;
(c) Any plan or proposal which the acquiring person has, or acquiring persons have, made:
1. To liquidate the insurer, sell its assets, or merge or consolidate it with any person, or to make any other major change in its business or corporate structure or management; or
2. To liquidate any controlling company, sell its assets, or merge or consolidate it with any person, or to make any major change in its business or corporate structure or management which would have an effect upon the insurer

is fair and free of prejudice to the policyholders of the domestic stock insurer or to the public;

(d) The competence, experience, and integrity of those persons who will control directly or indirectly the operation of the domestic stock insurer indicate that the acquisition is in the best interest of the policyholders of the insurer and in the public interest;
(e) The natural persons for whom background information is required to be furnished pursuant to this section have such backgrounds as to indicate that it is in the best interests of the policyholders of the domestic stock insurer, and in the public interest, to permit such persons to exercise control over such domestic stock insurer;
(f) The officers and directors to be employed after the acquisition have sufficient insurance experience and ability to assure reasonable promise of successful operation;
(g) The management of the insurer after the acquisition will be competent and trustworthy and will possess sufficient managerial experience so as to make the proposed operation of the insurer not hazardous to the insurance-buying public;
(h) The management of the insurer after the acquisition will not include any person who has directly or indirectly through ownership, control, reinsurance transactions, or other insurance or business relations unlawfully manipulated the assets, accounts, finances, or books of any insurer or otherwise acted in bad faith with respect thereto;
(i) The acquisition is not likely to be hazardous or prejudicial to the insurer’s policyholders or the public; and
(j) The effect of the acquisition of control would not substantially lessen competition in insurance in this state or would not tend to create a monopoly therein.
(8) No vote by the stockholder of record, or by any other person, of any security acquired in contravention of the provisions of this section is valid. Any acquisition of any security contrary to the provisions of this section is void. Upon the petition of the domestic stock insurer or controlling company, the circuit court for the county in which the principal office of such domestic stock insurer is located may, without limiting the generality of its authority, order the issuance or entry of an injunction or other order to enforce the provisions of this section. There shall be a private right of action in favor of the domestic stock insurer or controlling company to enforce the provisions of this section. No demand upon the office that it perform its functions shall be required as a prerequisite to any suit by the domestic stock insurer or controlling company against any other person, and in no case shall the office be deemed a necessary party to any action by such domestic stock insurer or controlling company to enforce the provisions of this section. Any person who makes or proposes an acquisition requiring the filing of a statement pursuant to this section, or who files such a statement, shall be deemed to have thereby designated the Chief Financial Officer, or his or her assistant or deputy or another person in charge of his or her office, as such person’s agent for service of process under this section, and shall thereby be deemed to have submitted himself or herself to the administrative jurisdiction of the office and to the jurisdiction of the circuit court.
(9) Any approval by the office under this section does not constitute a recommendation by the office for an acquisition, tender offer, or exchange offer. It is unlawful for a person to represent that the office’s approval constitutes a recommendation. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The statute-of-limitations period for the prosecution of an offense committed under this subsection is 5 years.
(10) Upon notification to the office by the domestic stock insurer or a controlling company that any person or any affiliated person of such person has acquired 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the domestic stock insurer or controlling company without complying with the provisions of this section, the office shall order that the person and any affiliated person of such person cease acquisition of any further securities of the domestic stock insurer or controlling company; however, the person or any affiliated person of such person may request a proceeding, which proceeding shall be convened within 7 days after the rendering of the order for the sole purpose of determining whether the person, individually or in connection with any affiliated person of such person, has acquired 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of a domestic stock insurer or controlling company. Upon the failure of the person or affiliated person to request a hearing within 7 days, or upon a determination at a hearing convened pursuant to this subsection that the person or affiliated person has acquired voting securities of a domestic stock insurer or controlling company in violation of this section, the office may order the person and affiliated person to divest themselves of any voting securities so acquired.
(11)(a) The office shall, if necessary to protect the public interest, suspend or revoke the certificate of authority of any insurer or controlling company:
1. The control of which is acquired in violation of this section;
2. That is controlled, directly or indirectly, by any person or any affiliated person of such person who, in violation of this section, has obtained control of a domestic stock insurer or controlling company; or
3. That is controlled, directly or indirectly, by any person who, directly or indirectly, controls any other person who, in violation of this section, acquires control of a domestic stock insurer or controlling company.
(b) If any insurer is subject to suspension or revocation pursuant to paragraph (a), the insurer shall be deemed to be in such condition, or to be using or to have been subject to such methods or practices in the conduct of its business, as to render its further transaction of insurance presently or prospectively hazardous to its policyholders, creditors, or stockholders or to the public.
(12)(a) A person may rebut a presumption of control by filing a disclaimer of control with the office on a form prescribed by the office. The disclaimer must fully disclose all material relationships and bases for affiliation between the person and the insurer as well as the basis for disclaiming the affiliation. In lieu of such form, a person or acquiring party may file with the office a copy of a Schedule 13G filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to rules 13d-1(b) or 13d-1(c) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. After a disclaimer has been filed, the insurer is relieved of any duty to register or report under this section which may arise out of the insurer’s relationship with the person unless the office disallows the disclaimer.
(b) A controlling person of a domestic insurer who seeks to divest the person’s controlling interest in the domestic insurer in any manner shall file with the office, with a copy provided to the insurer, confidential notice, not subject to public inspection as provided under s. 624.4212, of the person’s proposed divestiture at least 30 days before the cessation of control. The office shall determine those instances in which the party seeking to divest or to acquire a controlling interest in an insurer must file for and obtain approval of the transaction. The information remains confidential until the conclusion of the transaction unless the office, in its discretion, determines that confidential treatment interferes with enforcement of this section. If the statement referred to in subsection (1) is otherwise filed, this paragraph does not apply.
(13) The commission may adopt rules that are necessary to administer this section.
History.s. 666, ch. 59-205; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-67; s. 1, ch. 70-177; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 1, ch. 76-100; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 665, 809(1st), ch. 82-243; s. 1, ch. 84-37; s. 1, ch. 85-312; ss. 1, 17, ch. 86-250; s. 4, ch. 87-50; s. 33, ch. 87-226; s. 49, ch. 89-360; s. 3, ch. 90-248; ss. 187, 188, ch. 91-108; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 96-182; s. 274, ch. 96-410; s. 1740, ch. 97-102; s. 38, ch. 99-3; s. 1283, ch. 2003-261; s. 1, ch. 2007-138; s. 154, ch. 2008-4; s. 10, ch. 2014-101.
1Note.Replaced by the 1978 Bankruptcy Code.