Canopius to Buy Lloyd’s Omega Insurance for $265 Million; Tower in Related Deal

April 26, 2012

Lloyds of London insurer Canopius said it has agreed to buy rival Lloyd’s insurer Omega after raising its offer to £164 million ($265.6 million) in a recommended cash deal.

Canopius said on Wednesday it will pay 67 pence [$1.085] per share, raising an approach it made earlier in April by 2 pence [app. 2.43 cents] per share to secure the support of the board.

The suitor said institutional shareholders owning 49 percent of Omega said they would accept the offer.

Small Lloyd’s of London players are seen as vulnerable to takeovers because persistently weak insurance prices have weighed on their shares, with proposed tighter capital requirements for European insurers adding further pressure.

Omega last month said its pretax loss doubled to $95 million last year because of a surge in catastrophe claims. .

Separately, American insurer Tower Group said it would acquire a 10.7 percent stake in Canopius following the close of the Omega deal for some $75 million. [See related article]

Tower will get one seat on Canopius’ board and will get an option to merge its business with Canopius’ Bermudan reinsurance operations.

Source: Canopius

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