Most of the funds, around $255 million, will be remitted to Fairfax, which retains 73.7 percent of ORH’s shares. Underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 2,571,429 shares. Trading in the shares began today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ORH.”
The share price, which was at the high end of the original $16 to $19 estimate, is good news for Fairfax and ORH, as well as for the insurance equity markets in general. Odyssey Re Ltd. was hit by heavy losses at the end of 1998 due to its involvement in the Unicover reinsurance pool, and was forced to withdraw from the London market, and reorganize its operations.
Since then it has reestablished a strong presence in the U.S. and and global reinsurance markets. Based on its 65 million outstanding shares, ORH has a market capitalization of around $1.2 billion.
This is the second successful public offering in insurance equities this week. Last Monday, Willis, the U.K. broker, now headquartered in Bermuda, raised $270 million in an IPO of 14 percent of its shares, well above the expected $200 million.
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