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Carlyle to acquire NSM Insurance from White Mountains in $1.78 billion deal


(Reuters) – Private equity firm Carlyle Group Inc. told Reuters on Monday it has agreed to acquire U.S. specialty insurance provider NSM Insurance Group from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. for $1.78 billion in cash.

Carlyle said the deal is expected to close in the second half of this year. The transaction is expected to add $280 per share to White Mountains’ adjusted book value.

Pennsylvania-based NSM Insurance is one of the largest independent insurance brokerages and program managers that underwrites policies for pets, nonprofit organizations, workers compensation, trucks and behavioral healthcare. It generates more than $1 billion in premiums from more than one million clients, according to its website.

“We will look to invest back into the platform a bit more heavily and ramp up M&A activity,” James Burr, a Carlyle managing director, said in an interview. “There's a lot of wide space in business-to-customer and improving technology.”

Private equity firms have been driving consolidation in the insurance brokerage sector. Mergers and acquisitions in the insurance sector more than doubled in volume to a total of $58 billion in 2021 from $22 billion a year earlier, according to consulting firm Deloitte.

In 2021, Carlyle sold its majority stake in London-based insurance brokerage PIB Group to private equity firm Apax Group for an undisclosed amount.

Carlyle has invested more than $10 billion in the financial services space, including broker services and benefits technology provider BenefitMall, U.S. insurance claims firm Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. and China’s Ant Group.