Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings Limited announced that Marsh & McLennan Risk Capital Holdings, Ltd. (Marsh Risk Capital), a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., has agreed to sell 1.85 million of AXIS Capital’s common shares in a block trade.
AXIS said, “Merrill Lynch has agreed to purchase the common shares from Marsh Risk Capital and subsequently sell the shares to public investors. The common shares were offered under AXIS Capital’s Form S-3 shelf registration statement and represent approximately 50 percent of Marsh Risk Capital’s current ownership of AXIS Capital’s common shares.”
The bulletin also noted that Marsh Risk Capital was one of the initial investors in AXIS Capital, which was established in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Marsh will receive all net proceeds from the sale, and will retain “approximately 1.85 million common shares, representing an ownership of approximately 1 percent of AXIS Capital’s outstanding shares,” the announcement continued.
Marsh Risk Capital becomes the second major investor to sell a substantial stake in Axis. Earlier this month JPMorgan Partners a private equity affiliate of JP Morgan Chase & Co., and related entities, announced it would sell approximately 7.8 million shares (See IJ Website Aug.9).
It’s also the third major investor to sell a substantial stake in a Bermuda start-up that eventually went public. Just after the Morgan announcement Texas Pacific and Thomas H. Lee Partners announced they were selling approximately 7.7 million ordinary shares in Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (See IJ Website Aug. 10).
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