Global specialty lines insurer and reinsurer Axis Capital has agreed to acquire UK-based insurance underwriting company Novae Group for $600m in an all cash deal.
Headquartered in London, the Novae Group operates through Syndicate 2007 at Lloyd’s, covering specialty insurance and reinsurance that include property, casualty, political risk business, marine and aviation.
Its acquisition is expected to consolidate the specialty insurance business of the Bermuda-based Axis across the world.
The deal is likely to pave way for the formation of a $2bn insurer in the London specialty market while placing the combined entity among the leading insurers at Lloyd’s.
Taking the actual results of last year into account, the combined global specialty insurance and reinsurance entity would have an excess of $6bn in gross written premiums.
Axis Capital President and CEO Albert Benchimol said: “A key component of our growth strategy is to have leadership positions, relevance and scale in each of the specialty risk markets where we choose to compete.
“The acquisition of Novae is a great opportunity to accelerate the breadth and depth of talent, lines of business, and leadership positions that we are developing in the London market for specialty risks, advancing our growth and enabling us to better serve our clients.”
Subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, the acquisition is likely to be completed in the fourth quarter of the year.
Following the completion of the transaction, Novae CEO Matthew Fosh will take over as the executive chair for Europe, and will report to Benchimol.
Fosh said: “By joining AXIS, we are becoming part of a global leader in specialty insurance and reinsurance. AXIS is an ideal partner for Novae’s clients and our employees – and I am particularly enthused for our employees who will benefit from having access to the financial strength of a major global carrier and to the enhanced tools, support and resources required to grow our portfolio of underwriting businesses.”
Image: An Axis Capital office in Alpharetta, Georgia in the US. Photo: courtesy of Thomson200/Wikipedia.org.