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Sarah Veysey

Sompo Japan Insurance to buy Lloyd's managing agency Canopius

December 18, 2013 - 9:23am

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., the principal subsidiary of Tokyo-based insurance group NKSJ Holdings Inc., will buy Canopius Group Ltd., a Guernsey-based Lloyd's of London managing agency, the companies announced Wednesday.

Sompo Japan will pay £594 million ($968.1 million) for Canopius, it said in a statement.

Canopius currently is backed by private equity, and its majority shareholder is London-based Bregal Capital L.L.P.

In a statement, Kengo Sakurada, president of NKSJ, said the acquisition of Canopius, which manages multiline syndicate 4444 at Lloyd's, was part of the company's strategy to grow its overseas insurance business.

The two companies have “enjoyed a strong relationship” since Canopius was formed 10 years ago, Canopius said in a statement.

Canopius acted as a reinsurer for NKSJ companies, and Sompo Japan and Nipponkoa, a property/casualty subsidiary of NKSJ, provided reinsurance capital to syndicate 4444, among other things.

In a statement, Michael Watson, chairman and CEO of Canopius, said that following completion of the deal it will be “business as usual” for Canopius.

“We will follow the same strategy, underwrite the same business, operate under the same brand, deliver the same quality of service and be guided by the same leadership team,” he said.

The deal is expected to close by mid-2014.

Mr. Watson this week assumed the role of group chief executive of Canopius, in addition to his post as executive chair of the company, after the announcement that Inga Beale, group chief executive of the company, will take up the role of CEO of Lloyd's in January.