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Validus IPO expected to raise more than $300M


HAMILTON, Bermuda--Validus Holdings Ltd. has launched an initial public offering in which it expects to raise more than $300 million.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday, Validus said it will offer 15.7 million common shares, with an option for underwriters of the offering to purchase up to 2.3 million additional common shares.

"We estimate that the net proceeds to us from this offering will be approximately $311.3 million ($346.6 million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional common shares), based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $25.00 per common share," Hamilton, Bermuda-based Validus said in the filing.

Net proceeds from the IPO will be used toward, among other things, funding the company's recent purchase of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Talbot Holdings Ltd. and toward capitalizing the Validus Reinsurance Ltd. operating unit to support future growth of the company's operations, Validus said.

Additionally some of the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, Validus said, including a $3.0 million payment to Aquiline Capital Partners L.L.C. in connection with the termination of the company's 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, an insurance investment vehicle headed by Jeffrey Greenberg, the former chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.