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Argo sells reinsurer to private equity firms


Two private equity investment firms said Monday they will acquire Ariel Re, a unit of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Argo Group International Holdings Ltd., and are investing in another insurance firm.

Pelican Ventures Group LLC and J.C. Flowers & Co., which are both New York-based, said in a statement they are acquiring Ariel Re, a property/casualty reinsurer operating through Lloyd’s of London syndicate 1910, for an undisclosed sum.

Pelican Ventures was founded by Jim Stanard, former chairman and CEO of catastrophe reinsurer RenaissanceRe Ltd. and former chairman and co-founder of reinsurance broker TigerRisk Partners LLC.

The two private equity firms said also they have agreed to an operational partnership with London-based Apollo Syndicate Management Ltd., an independent insurer and reinsurer, to further develop SPA 6133, a Lloyd’s special purpose arrangement focused on property catastrophe reinsurance.

Under the partnership, Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers will provide additional capital, operational support and distribution, the statement said.

Ariel Re’s former CEO, Ryan Mather, will return to Ariel Re to run the business and oversee underwriting for both syndicates.

Mr. Mather said in the statement that pairing Ariel Re with SPA 6133 “will create significant growth and economies of scale” for the franchise.