State Auto to Purchase Rockhill Insurance Group

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company has announced that it has agreed to acquire Rockhill Insurance Group of Kansas City, Mo. Closing is expected in the first quarter of 2009, subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

Rockhill Insurance Group, which has its corporation based in Delaware, but companies in Kansas, writes approximately $135 million in specialty property and casualty direct written premium through four insurance company subsidiaries: Rockhill Insurance Company, Plaza Insurance Company, American Compensation Insurance Company, and Bloomington Compensation Insurance Company. Key business segments include commercial property, general liability for residential construction, commercial umbrella and surety; RTW, a monoline workers’ compensation company; and Absentia, a third party administrator providing workers’ compensation claim and loss control services. Rockhill writes business on a non-admitted basis in 49 states and the District of Columbia, and is licensed on an admitted basis in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

State Auto intends to retain Rockhill’s management and associates, operating the company as a stand alone subsidiary of State Automobile Mutual. State Automobile Mutual does not plan to pool Rockhill’s operations with those of State Auto’s for the foreseeable future.

“Rockhill’s strong underwriting culture and exceptional leadership team will both complement and supplement State Auto’s strategy and operations,” said State Auto Chairman, President and CEO Bob Restrepo. “Rockhill allows us to diversify our base of earnings and the portfolio of products we offer our independent agency partners. In addition, we will benefit from both the talent and technology Rockhill brings to the State Auto family of companies. I am confident that our successful track record in integrating acquisitions and affiliations will make the addition of Rockhill seamless and successful for our mutual policyholders and associates.”

“Our team is excited as we move to the next generation with a partner that embraces our future and shares our technical underwriting culture,” said Rockhill President and CEO Terry Younghanz. “Our policyholders, broker partners and employees can be comfortable that we are moving into a very stable relationship with an exceptional company. We also want to thank HBK and Northaven Management, Inc., who provided us with capital and business leadership during our first three years of operation.”

KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as the financial advisor to State Automobile Mutual in this transaction, and Benfield Advisory acted as the financial advisor to Rockhill Insurance Group.

The State Auto Insurance Companies, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, are engaged primarily in writing personal and business insurance products exclusively through approximately 3,400 independent insurance agencies in 33 states.

Source: State Auto Insurance Cos.