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Delaware approves RSA USA sale


DOVER, Del.--Delaware Insurance Commissioner Matthew Denn has approved the disputed sale of Royal & SunAlliance USA Inc. to a management group, subject to certain conditions.

Among the conditions presented by Mr. Denn in a decision and final order issued Tuesday is that RSA USA's parent company, London-based Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group P.L.C., "submit to personal jurisdiction in the courts of this state for the purpose of resolving any legal claims brought by policyholders."

Mr. Denn also asks that the U.K. parent and its relevant units submit to the Delaware Insurance Department's ongoing jurisdiction with respect to its obligations, including making reinsurance claims.

Mr. Denn is also requiring that no dividends be paid to the holding company until "all policyholder claims reasonably capable of resolution have been paid" and that there are additional funds to pay claims that "cannot be resolved in a timely fashion."

Mr. Denn said he will also name a claims monitor to hear all policyholder complaints and to monitor indemnity reserve adequacy, litigation management, claims denials and other aspects of "sound claims practice." He will report to the commissioner monthly.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Arrowpoint Capital Corp., a vehicle established by RSA USA's management team, announced in September 2006 an agreement to acquire Royal Indemnity Co. and other members of RSA USA's insurance pool for $300 million.

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group said upon completion of the transaction it would contribute $287.5 million in capital.

Major policyholders have protested the deal, contending it would leave RSA USA with inadequate capital.

Earlier this month, following a public hearing, a Delaware Insurance Department hearing officer recommended that Mr. Denn approve the deal.

A Royal spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.