Rhine Re, a Swiss-based global reinsurer, which is a subsidiary of U.S. buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), announced that it has agreed to acquire London-based Imperial Fire & Marine Re-Insurance Company.
The announcement of the purchase didn’t specify the cost of the acquisition, but said that Rhine Re had received $150 million in additional capital from an affiliate of KKR, which “will be used in connection with the acquisition of Imperial, as well as to restore the strength of Rhine Re’s balance sheet following a difficult year for the company and the reinsurance industry as a whole.”
Imperial Re has U.S. roots, as it was originally set up by a group of U.K. investors who acquired Aetna’s London based reinsurance business.
The acquisition will enhance Rhine Re’s position in the global reinsurance market. In addition to its core U.K. business Imperial “is authorized to write excess and surplus lines insurance in 22 States of the United States and has branch offices in Bahrain, Malaysia and Tunisia.”
The announcement characterized the acquisition as “complementary,” and confirmed that “Mr. Loay Al-Naqib, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of Imperial Holdings, Limited will be joining the Rhine Re Group. His responsibilities will include focusing on the Company’s emerging market activities.”
While Rhine Re suffered along with the rest of the reinsurance industry in 1999, it still had gross premium income of nearly CHF 564 million ($326 million), and its backing from KKR has enabled the company to maintain its A- ratings from Best’s and S&P.