Lloyd’s Hardy Plc Rejects Offer from Omega, But Leaves the Door Open

Lloyd’s insurer Hardy (Underwriting Agencies) Ltd. has issued a statement concerning a revised offer from another Lloyd’s insurer, Omega Underwriting Holdings PLC, which it has so far rejected. Hardy left the door open for further discussions, however.

Hardy said its Board of Directors “is of the opinion that an offer on the terms set out in Omega’s revised offer proposal would not be in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders and, accordingly, Omega’s revised offer proposal has been rejected by the Board. It is intended that further discussions will take place between the two sides and their respective advisers shortly in an attempt to ascertain whether Omega is in a position to make an offer on terms that are capable of being recommended by the Board of Hardy to the Company’s shareholders.”

Hardy manages Syndicate 382, which specializes in transport coverage. Its 2004 capacity was £115 million ($210 million). Its shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange and have a current value of around £78 million ($142 million).

Omega manages Syndicate 958 which has a capacity of £225 million ($410 million) for 2005. Omega said that its Board had noted the “announcement made by Hardy today and confirms its intention to continue the dialogue. A further announcement will be made in due course.”