Winterthur to Sell Republic to Investor Group Led by Wand Partners

May 12, 2003

Winterthur, the insurance subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group, announced today that it is selling the Republic group of companies, its regional operation in the Southwestern U.S., for $127 million to a group of American investors led by Wand Partners Inc.

The deal is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2003.

The announcement indicated that “Following the sale, Winterthur will take advantage of closer affiliations within its three remaining US operations to strengthen their business model and further enhance their profitability.”

Winterthur said that its “strategy is to focus on markets in which it is profitable or in which it can achieve a positive business result in the foreseeable future.” It expressed confidence that the operations, General Casualty, Unigard and Southern Guaranty, “will continue to achieve solid operational performance and profitability improvements. Under the leadership of John Pollock, head of Winterthur Group’s North American operations, the companies will take advantage of closer affiliations resulting in cost efficiencies, access to additional resources and expertise, and expansion of products and services.”

The bulletin said that Dallas-based Republic, which Winterthur acquired in 1982, wrote $465 million in premiums in 2002 from personal and commercial lines written through about 700 independent agents and specialty programs. The company employed 400 people at year-end 2002.

New York-based Wand Partners Inc. is a private equity investor founded in 1985. “Its investment approach is focused on specialty financial services, where it has both investment and operating experience in property & casualty insurance,” said the bulletin. It is the sponsor of a group of investors that includes Banc of America Capital Investors, Greenhill Capital Partners, Brazos Private Equity Partners, 21st Century Group and Norwest Equity Partners.

Bruce W. Schnitzer, Chairman of Wand Partners, stated: “This is a group of experienced private equity investors that are knowledgeable in the insurance industry and have invested together in the past.” He indicated that “Republic will continue to operate independently under its brand name. Our investor group is pleased to have the opportunity to support the leadership at Republic and look forward to further developing the company’s market position.”

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