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Canopius to buy Lloyd's insurer


LONDON—Lloyd's of London insurer Canopius Group Ltd. has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the entire operations of fellow Lloyd's business Creechurch Underwriting Ltd.Creechurch manages Lloyd's Syndicates 1607 and 3786 for the 2006 year at Lloyd's, with combined premium capacity of £90 million ($169 million). The insurer underwrites marine and energy, personal accident, United Kingdom liability and professional indemnity insurance.

Guernsey-domiciled Canopius manages syndicates 4444 and life syndicate 44, as well as the runoff of syndicate 839, which ceased trading on December 31, 2003. The company was formed in 2003 with the management buyout of Trenwick Managing Agents Ltd., the solvent Lloyd's subsidiary of Trenwick Group Inc. which ceased writing business in 2003.

According to Canopius, all of Creechurch's Lloyd's business will be written through Syndicate 4444 from 2007 onwards. In a statement, the company said that it intends to increase Syndicate 4444's gross premium capacity from £300 million to £450 million for 2007.

Michael Watson, chairman and chief executive of Canopius said: "The acquisition furthers our ambitions for profitable growth, while increasing diversification and lowering volatility. Creechurch's operations are highly complementary to those of Canopius. The combination of Creechurch's marine and energy business with Canopius's cargo and specie team will create a significant force in the marine market," he said.

The transaction remains subject to regulatory consent and customary closing conditions.