Sompo to sell its UK unit Canopius for USD 952 million

Japanese insurer Sompo Holdings said it has agreed to sell British unit Sompo Canopius to private equity consortium led by Centerbridge Partners for USD 952 million.

The insurer said the deal is part of its strategic plan to increase its flexibility for its growth ambitions, while also creating a secure future for Canopius.

"Following the announcement of the acquisition of Endurance Specialty Holdings in October 2016, we carefully reviewed the potential for Sompo Canopius to be integrated into the new global, commercial business platform, Sompo International. However, it became increasingly clear that the culture and business mix of the two companies were very distinct and that the combination would not necessarily be advantageous to either party", said Kengo Sakurada, president and group CEO of Sompo Holdings Inc.

"We are delighted to have reached the agreement announced today with Centerbridge, one which recognises the value inherent in Canopius, and takes full advantage of the strengths of the existing management team. The future of the staff has been a key consideration in this process. We believe having a financial partner such as Centerbridge represents a great opportunity for Canopius to achieve its growth ambitions", he added.

"This transaction returns significant funds to Sompo to pursue our global strategic objectives through Sompo International whilst also providing Canopius with a secure and clear strategic future".

Sompo said the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

Canopius was acquired by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sompo Holdings Inc. in 2014, for GBP 594 million.

Sompo International's Lloyd's business (previously called Endurance at Lloyd's) will not be affected by the deal.

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