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US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life said on Monday that it is officially terminating its merger agreement with Anbang Insurance, the acquisitive Chinese company whose $14bn attempt to buy Starwood Hotel & Resorts fell through last year.

FGL said it is continuing to explore strategic alternatives and had received interest “from a number of parties”. It had been prohibited from entering into a definitive agreement with another buyer while the Anbang agreement was in effect, it said.

FGL president and chief executive Chris Littlefield said in a statement:

“We have determined that it is no longer in the best interests of FGL’s shareholders to continue to pursue the transaction with Anbang. Our business remains strong, we continue to focus on delivering on our plan for the year and our distribution partners and employees continue to be committed to our success. FGL is an attractive platform and we are well positioned to realize value for our shareholders as our Board continues to evaluate strategic alternatives.”

Last year, Anbang withdrew an application with New York state’s insurance regulator seeking approval for the proposed $1.57bn buyout of FGL.

Anbang is among several Chinese companies that have faced regulatory checks following a record spate of dealmaking in 2016 that raised concerns from authorities in China and abroad. Last year, Anbang Insurance’s attempted $14bn takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts ended with China’s regulators quietly blocking the transaction.

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