Navigators buys Belgian specialty insurers in Europe push
Global specialty insurance holding The Navigators Group has entered into a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of all of the shares of Antwerp, Belgium-based Assurances Continentales - Continentale Verzekeringen NV (ASCO) and Bracht, Deckers & Mackelbert NV (BDM).
The proposed acquisition is part of Navigators' strategy of expanding its specialty insurance expertise to more brokers and insureds across Europe, according to a company statement. As aggregate consideration for the acquisition of ASCO and BDM, Navigators will pay €35 million in cash at the closing of the transaction.
ASCO is a specialty insurance company offering marine and property and 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.
Additionally, as part of the transaction, Navigators will acquire all the shares of Canal Re SA, a Luxembourg reinsurance company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASCO. The acquisition reinforces Navigators' presence in the European Union's single market, enabling Navigators to best serve its European clients after Brexit, and also provides opportunity for BDM and ASCO to take their expertise to a wider European audience.
Stanley Galanski, Navigators CEO said: “Europe is an important market to us today and vital to our international growth strategy — this transaction is an important step to enhancing our presence in and relevance to this dynamic market.
"BDM has a strong reputation, a rich history and a well-established culture of underwriting expertise that mirrors our own. Together with ASCO, they provide Navigators with a scalable platform to support our product lines and geographic expansion across continental Europe."
Galanski added: "We intend to combine our existing European underwriting operations with those of BDM, with Antwerp serving as the hub for continental Europe after the closing of the transaction. We believe the combination provides a wonderful opportunity for the employees and significantly enhances the growth potential of both organizations."
Jos Gielen, chief executive officer of ASCO and BDM, said: "As specialty underwriters, we share a common culture and a common vision for the future. Our combined operations will be well positioned for growth by enhancing our product and service capabilities in our chosen specialties."
The transaction is subject regulatory approval and is anticipated to close in the first half of 2018.
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