Australian Insurer Makes Unsolicited Offer For Limit Plc

May 3, 2000

Lloyd’s insurer Limit Plc has received an unsolicited bid from Australia’s QBE Insurance Group. The offer valued Limit, which had earlier announced its intention to merge with Wellington Underwriting, at £320 million ($ 496 million), and called into question the proposed all share merger with Wellington.

Lloyd’s insurer Limit Plc has received an unsolicited bid from Australia’s QBE Insurance Group. The offer valued Limit, which had earlier announced its intention to merge with Wellington Underwriting, at £320 million ($ 496 million), and called into question the proposed all share merger with Wellington.

QBE has been seeking access to the Lloyd’s market for some time, and the bid represents almost a 50 percent premium over Limit’s recent share price. Investors had reportedly been unhappy about the merger with Wellington. But Lloyd’s companies haven’t been doing well in the market lately, due to the losses Lloyd’s has suffered and uncertainty about the future of the market.

Limit management took no immediate position regarding the offer, but indicated that it would continue to pursue the Wellington merger, and at the same time explore the possibility of a higher cash offer, either from QBE, or other “potentially interested parties.”

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