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Argo to buy Lloyd's reinsurer in $235M deal

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Bermuda specialty insurer Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. said Monday it has agreed to acquire insurance and reinsurance underwriter Ariel Re Bda Ltd. for about $235 million cash. 

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2017, is subject to regulatory approvals.

Bermuda-based Ariel Re is jointly owned by Banco BTG Pactual S.A. and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and underwrites a global portfolio of insurance and reinsurance business through Lloyd’s syndicate 1910, Argo said in a statement. 
 
In 2015, syndicate 1910’s gross written premiums were £274.7 million ($343.5 million), up 46% from the previous year, according to Ariel Re’s 2015 annual report.

“Ariel Re is a terrific fit for Argo Group — operationally and culturally,” Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III said in a statement. “After the acquisition, Argo Group will have a well-balanced portfolio mix of approximately 88% insurance and 12% reinsurance.” 

The deal gives Argo new capabilities, including Ariel Re’s modeling and risk analysis tools, according to the statement.

During a conference call, Mr. Watson emphasized that Argo remains committed to the specialty insurance business. 

“While this acquisition enhances our scale in the reinsurance market, it does not dramatically change our business mix,” Mr. Watson said.