Argo Makes Offer for Lloyd’s Heritage; Conference Today; Best Comments

April 3, 2008

The Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings has made an offer to acquire Heritage Underwriting Agency, Plc, a successful Lloyd’s insurer.

The transaction is subject to “relevant legal and regulatory requirements and to satisfaction of customary conditions for a transaction of this type,” the announcement explained, adding that Argo expects the deal to close within three months. It also said that it “intends the Heritage management team to remain in place.”

“The strategic combination of Argo and Heritage will create a broader underwriting platform, with increased market presence, as well as an extended geographic capability and distribution network,” said the bulletin.

Argo’s President and CEO Mark E. Watson III, noted that the creation of the Group – including the merger with PXRE Group – had taken place less than a year ago (See IJ web site –

He described the Heritage acquisition as “another important milestone towards becoming a leading international specialty underwriter. Heritage is a successful quoted Lloyd’s insurer with a core team of underwriters who have a track record of profitable underwriting results across the underwriting cycle,” Watson continued. “Its mix of property and liability business, and access to the Lloyd’s market, make it a complementary addition to our Bermuda and U.S. books of business. We look forward to serving Heritage’s customers and partners within the Lloyd’s market, and to introducing new business from the extensive Argo Group distribution network. We are also extremely pleased to welcome the Heritage employees to the Argo team.”

A.M. Best Co. commented that Argo Group and its insurance subsidiaries financial strength ratings, issuer credit ratings and debt ratings are unchanged and the outlook remains stable.

Argo will hold a conference call for analysts and investors today, Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at 1:00 p.m., London time. The conference call dial-in numbers are as follows: International: (617) 213-8847 (Passcode: 67316218); U.S.: (866) 203-2528 (Passcode: 67316218).

Source: Argo Group –

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