Business Moves

January 28, 2007

Goldman Sachs, USI Holdings

Insurance broker USI Holdings Corp. agreed to be acquired by GS Capital Partners, a private equity affiliate of Goldman, Sachs and Co., in a transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion, including repayment of USI’s existing debt obligations.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, USI stockholders will receive $17 in cash for each share of USI common stock, representing a premium of 20.5 percent to the average closing share price for the 30 calendar days prior to Oct. 24, 2006.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007, subject to stockholder and regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other conditions.


BB&T Corp.’s subsidiary Branch Banking and Trust Co. completed its acquisition of insurance premium finance company AFCO Credit Corp. and its Canadian affiliate, CAFO Inc., from Mellon Financial Corp. Terms were not disclosed.

BB&T already operates insurance premium finance subsidiary Prime Rate Premium Finance Corp. Inc. AFCO and CAFO will operate separately from Prime Rate using their existing brand names as a unit of BB&T’s Specialized Lending Division.

AFCO’s U.S. offices are in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. CAFO offices are in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto, Canada.

Swett & Crawford, Oxbridge

Wholesale insurance broker Swett & Crawford, based in Atlanta, acquired the assets of Oxbridge Insurance Associates Inc., located in Morristown, N.J. The venture marks Swett and Crawford’s first acquisition since the company was sold by Aon Corp. to an investment group in Nov. 2005.

Founded in 1991, Oxbridge is a property and casualty wholesale broker and managing general agent.

Catlin, Wellington

Bermuda-based Catlin Group Ltd. announced progress relating to the acquisition and integration of Wellington Underwriting plc.

To finance the acquisition, Catlin has priced an issue of $600 million non-accumulative perpetual preferred shares at a dividend rate of 7.249 percent. The transaction size was increased during the book building process from $300 million to $600 million because of demand from investors, Catlin said. The proceeds of the issue were scheduled to be received on Jan. 18, 2007, and will be used to refinance the $500 million short-term acquisition financing facility Catlin established for the Wellington acquisition, and for general corporate purposes.

IAG, Equity Insurance Group

Insurance Australia Group Ltd. completed the purchase of the U.K. auto underwriter and broker Equity Insurance Group. IAG noted that the total consideration was, as originally announced, $1.12 billion. The acquisition received approval from Lloyds and the U.K. Financial Services Authority.

BW Insurance Agency, Contractor’s, Nabity Perry

Bank of the West’s subsidiary BW Insurance Agency Inc. acquired Contractor’s Insurance Services Inc., an agency that specializes in providing commercial and personal lines, risk management and asset protection services for the building industry throughout the Pacific Northwest.

BWIA also closed its acquisition of Omaha-based Nabity-Perry Insurance.

The transaction marks the eighth insurance agency acquired by BWIA since December 2005. BWIA expanded into Denver and Aurora, Colo., North Platte and Bellevue, Neb., St. Paul, Minn., and Gillette, Wyo., in 2006.

The company has 60 locations in nine West, Midwest and Rocky Mountain

Colorado Casualty

Colorado Casualty, a member of Liberty Mutual Group, recently hosted a 25th anniversary celebration with 140 employees and more than 100 appointed agents in attendance.

The company also announced it would be expanding its personal lines business, now offering its products and services through appointed agents in Arizona and Nevada.

The company noted it is increasing its small-to-medium commercial account appetite in the areas of hotel/motel, landscaping, mobile home parks, churches, and grocery/convenience stores. Commercial lines growth includes farm and agriculture coverage, which represents more than 10 percent of the company’s business.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., Colorado Casualty provides insurance in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

General Casualty, Unigard, QBE

Sun Prairie,Wis.-based insurer General Casualty and its U.S. holding company and sister company Unigard Insurance Group in Bellevue, Wash., are being acquired by Australia-based QBE Insurance Group in an agreement with current parent companies Winterthur Insurance Group, in Switzerland, and Paris-based AXA Group. The purchase price for the companies is $1.16 billion.

The transaction is to close by mid-year. The U.S. operations will become part of QBE the Americas division, which currently anticipates no changes in General Casualty and Unigard’s businesses.

RMS, HailCalc Europe

Newark Calif.-based Risk Management Solutions acquired HailCalc Europe, which it describes as “the first fully probabilistic hail loss simulation software for Europe.” The model was built by a team of atmospheric scientists in conjunction with Swiss Re and has been actively used to assess hail risk in Europe since 2004. RMS noted that the HailCalc Europe transaction complements its Europe Windstorm Model, which was upgraded and expanded in 2006 to include 12 countries, as well as a separate high-frequency component to capture wind-related losses from severe thunderstorms and downbursts in addition to extra-tropical cyclones.

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