Navigators to Buy Belgian Specialty Insurer, Reinsurer

December 18, 2017

U.S.-based global specialty insurer The Navigators Group has agreed to purchase all of the shares of Assurances Continentales – Continentale Verzekeringen NV (ASCO) and Bracht, Deckers & Mackelbert NV (BDM), specialty insurers based in Antwerp, Belgium.

ASCO is a specialty insurance company offering marine and property/casualty insurance. BDM is an insurance underwriting agency that underwrites risk coverage in niche markets on behalf of ASCO and a number of major international insurers in organized insurance pools.

Also, as part of the transaction, Navigators said it will acquire all the shares of Canal Re SA, a Luxembourg reinsurance company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASCO.

The proposed ASCO and BDM acquisition is part of Navigators’ strategy of expanding its specialty insurance expertise to more brokers and insureds across Europe.

As aggregate consideration for the acquisition of ASCO and BDM, Navigators will pay EUR 35 million in cash (US$41.3 million) at the closing, which is expected in the first half of 2018. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions.

The company said the Canal Re acquisition enables it to “best serve its European clients after Brexit and also provides opportunity for BDM and ASCO to take their well-established expertise to a wider European audience.”

Stanley A. Galanski, president and chief executive officer of Navigators, said existing European underwriting operations will be combined with those of BDM, with Antwerp serving as the hub for continental Europe after the closing of the transaction.

Ratings agency A.M. Best said its credit ratings of The Navigators Group remain unchanged following the announcement.

Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Navigators has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, continental Europe and Asia. The industries served by Navigators Group include maritime, construction, energy, environmental, professional services and life sciences.

The insurer early this year sold its agency operations in Sweden and Denmark to more fully concentrate in continental Europe.

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