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Equitas, Hercules settle over asbestos claims

Posted On: Aug. 26, 2004 12:00 AM CST

LONDON--Equitas Ltd. has reached a $97 million settlement that will resolve current and future asbestos claims of Hercules Inc.

Equitas, the runoff reinsurer for the pre-1993 long-tail liabilities of Lloyd's of London syndicates, will pay $30 million to the Wilmington, Del.-based chemical company and $67 million to an asbestos trust for claims against Hercules.

In addition, if asbestos reform is enacted in the United States before 2007, part of the trust's funding will be returned to Equitas, the company noted.

Simon Wright, head of asbestos, pollution and health hazard claims at Equitas in London, said in a statement that Equitas is "actively involved in a number of negotiations with other policyholders and remains willing to have similar discussions with all counterparties that are prepared to engage in a realistic and commercial dialogue."

Over the past two years, Equitas has entered several large asbestos settlements, including agreements with Halliburton Co. and Travelers Property Casualty Corp.