Aetna To Form Pension Joint Venture In Mexico

HARTFORD, Conn., August 1, 1996 — Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) and its 61 percent-owned Chilean subsidiary, AFP Santa Maria S.A., have reached an agreement-in-principle with Grupo Financiero Bancomer (“GFB”), Mexico’s second-largest financial group, to form a pension administration company (Administradora de Fondos de Retiro or AFORE).

GFB will be a 51 percent shareholder and Aetna/Santa Maria will purchase a 49 percent stake in the AFORE joint venture from GFB for U.S. $47 million in cash. Closing of this transaction, expected early in the fourth quarter, is subject to regulatory approval and final documentation. Operations are expected to commence later this year.

“By forming this strategic alliance with GFB, Aetna/Santa Maria will be uniquely positioned as a leader in the newly privatized Mexican pension market,” said Frederick C. Copeland, Jr., president of Aetna International. “With this investment, Aetna further strengthens its already leading position in the Mexican financial services landscape, and complements its existing partnerships with GFB,” Copeland stated.

Sergio Baeza, Santa Maria’s chairman of the board, noted that Bancomer’s extensive banking franchise, coupled with Santa Maria’s sales and administration capabilities and Aetna’s long-standing pension fund management expertise, creates a powerful partnership that will result in Mexico’s leading AFORE.

Santa Maria is currently the third-largest pension administration company in Chile, with one million members and U.S. $3.7 billion in assets under management in Chile. Santa Maria also ranks first in Peru through its participation in AFP(a) Integra. The company has participated in Chile’s privatized pension system since its inception in 1981.

Mexico’s pension system will be privatized on Jan. 1, 1997, and is expected to be one of the largest in Latin America, growing from about four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) currently to over 25 percent by the year 2010.

Aetna Inc. is one of the largest U.S. health care, insurance and financial services organizations. It is centered around three core businesses: health, retirement services and international. Aetna International offers a variety of life insurance and financial services products to citizens of 12 countries, primarily in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Aetna International had revenues of $1.5 billion and net income of $87 million in 1995.

(a) AFP = Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones (Pension Fund Administrator).

For more information about Aetna Inc., please visit the company’s website at