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Validus hopes to raise $200 million in IPO


HAMILTON, Bermuda--Validus Holdings Ltd. on Tuesday said it will raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering of its common shares.

Goldman Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co. were listed as the underwriters of the offering.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Validus, in a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it plans to use net proceeds from the IPO to "support future growth of our reinsurance operations," as well as for "general corporate purposes, including a $3.0 million payment to Aquiline in connection with the termination of our advisory agreement with them."

Validus--which specializes in property catastrophe and other short-tail reinsurance risks--was set up in the wake of the severe 2005 hurricane season with the backing of Aquiline Capital Partners L.L.C., an insurance investment vehicle headed by Jeffrey Greenberg, the former chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.

Last week, another so-called "Class of 2005" Bermuda reinsurer, CastlePoint Holdings Ltd., filed for an IPO.