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CNA Financial to buy Hardy Underwriting Bermuda


HAMILTON, Bermuda—CNA Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd. for approximately $227 million, Chicago-based CNA announced Wednesday.

Implemented by way of a merger under the Bermuda Companies Act, CNA Financial will pay 280 pence ($4.44) for each outstanding share of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Hardy, which underwrites marine, aviation, property and specialty business.

CNA Financial Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Motamed said while Hardy’s recent financial results were marred by natural catastrophe losses, the Hardy franchise “is built on a strong foundation and has a bright future.”

“Hardy is a specialist insurer and reinsurer with a respected brand and a long and distinguished history of disciplined underwriting in the Lloyd’s market,” Mr. Motamed said in a statement. “The proposed Hardy acquisition significantly expands CNA’s global capabilities and aligns well with our specialized underwriting focus.”

Mr. Motamed added that Hardy’s current leadership, including CEO Barbara Merry and Patrick Gage, director of underwriting, would remain in place. “Hardy and CNA share similar underwriting and management philosophies,” Mr. Motamed said.

The proposed transaction has been approved by both companies’ board but remains subject to the approval of Hardy shareholders and regulators. It is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2012.