Seattle - The shareholders of Safeco Corp. voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger agreement entered into on April 23, 2008 with Liberty Mutual Group. Of those Safeco shareholders who voted, 99.5% voted to approve the transaction. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Liberty Mutual will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Safeco for $68.25 per share, in cash. The transaction is not subject to financing contingencies.

The proposed transaction remains subject to the customary approval of various state departments of insurance. Following these approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2008.

Following the transaction, Safeco will become part of Liberty Mutual Group's Agency Markets business unit. Liberty Mutual Agency Markets had revenues of $5.6 billion in 2007. Combined, the organization will have about 15,000 independent agencies.

"The addition of Safeco significantly expands and strengthens the Liberty Mutual Group," Edmund Kelly, Liberty Mutual Group chairman, president and CEO said when the merger was announced. "Safeco's operations and product mix complement our existing Agency Markets operations. Additionally, both organizations have superb Surety businesses, which, when combined, will form the second largest Surety business in the United States."

Gary Gregg, president of Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, says, "Safeco is an excellent addition to Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, and I look forward to working with the Safeco leadership team to deliver even greater value to our independent agent partners.  With revenue approaching $12 billion, Agency Markets will rank third in personal and fifth in commercial property/casualty products distributed through independent agents in the United States. Just as important, we share Safeco's commitment to employees, customers, agents and the communities in which we do business."

Source: Safeco Insurance Company of America and INN archives

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