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Liberty Mutual buys AmTrust’s surety business

Posted On: Apr. 15, 2019 12:59 PM CST

Surety business acquisition

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. has agreed to buy the credit and surety reinsurance operations of Amtrust Financial Services Inc., the insurer announced Monday.

The deal includes AmTrust Surety, AmTrust Insurance Spain, Nationale Borg and Nationale Borg Reinsurance, which offer surety and credit coverage in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The deal to buy the U.S. business, which is largely focused on surety accounts in the West, is expected to close in the second quarter, and the purchase of the international units is expected to close in the second half of 2019, Liberty Mutual said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Liberty Mutual is the second-largest surety writer in the United States behind Travelers Cos. Inc., according to the Washington-based Surety & Fidelity Association of America, with $756.9 million in 2017 direct written premium, which excludes business from its 2017 purchase of Ironshore Inc.

AmTrust, which has a significant book of workers compensation business and has pared back some other operations after enduring a turbulent couple of years, reverted to private ownership last year. But according to its 2018 third-quarter financial results, it reported $110.3 million in earned surety premium in the first nine months of last year, which represented about 2.7% of its business.

“The added scale and key talent aligns well with our model and goals in the U.S., and will provide a platform for broader global development,” said Tim Mikolajewski, president of global surety at Liberty Mutual in Seattle.