W.R. Berkley Files Statement to Raise up to $700 Million

May 27, 2002

Connecticut-based W. R. Berkley Corporation announced that it has filed a new “universal shelf registration statement” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, replacing a previous filing.

The new registration statement covers the prospective sale of up to $700 million in various types of securities, including debt, preferred stock, common stock, warrants and depositary shares.

When the statement has been declared effective, Berkley may sell the securities “in one or more separate offerings in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined at the time of sale.”

While the Company indicated that it had no immediate plans too offer any portion of the securities for sale, the plan is seen as part of Berkley’s efforts to increase its capitalization in order to profit from the strong demand in the insurance market and rising premiums.

After a record first quarter, and a 3-for-2 stock split (See IJ Website May 17) along with the creation of a new medical malpractice excess unit (See IJ Website May 8) , the company could require additional capital to fund its expansion plans.

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