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HAMILTON, Bermuda--Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd. said Monday it has sold its Environmental Strategies Consulting L.L.C. unit to WSP Environmental Holdings Inc. for $11.3 million in cash.
The sale is the latest move by the embattled insurer and reinsurer following a ratings downgrade out of the A range in March by A.M. Best Co. Inc.
Hamilton, Bermuda-based Quanta, which was hit hard by the 2005 hurricanes, placed the bulk of its specialty lines insurance and reinsurance business into runoff in May and sold the renewal rights to its U.S. environmental liability business to Liberty International Underwriters (BI, May 29).
Quanta continues to operate its Lloyd's of London syndicate 4000, which accounted for $80.7 million of gross premiums written in 2005.
"While Quanta's insurance companies have ceased writing environmental policies that complemented ESC's ongoing environmental consulting business, we believe ESC is well positioned to enjoy good business opportunities as part of WSP Environmental Holdings," James J. Ritchie, Quanta's chairman, said in a statement.
For London-based WSP Environmental, the acquisition of ESC is part of its overall plan to become a leading global environmental and energy consulting firm, executives said in a statement.
ESC will operate in North America as WSP Environmental Strategies, WSP said.