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James River reviews options, considers sale

James River

James River Group Holdings Ltd. said Friday it “has initiated an exploration of strategic alternatives,” which could include a sale of the company.

“The board will consider a wide range of options for the company including, among other things, a potential sale, merger or other strategic transaction,” the Richmond, Virginia-based commercial insurer said in a statement.

The announcement comes two days after James River announced it is selling its third-party casualty reinsurance business, JRG Reinsurance Co. Ltd., to Fleming Insurance Holdings, a portfolio company of Altamont Capital Management LP, for an estimated $277 million.

In September, the insurer announced it had agreed to sell its individual workers compensation business to Amynta Agency Inc.

Meanwhile, James Rivers’ stock has fallen almost 40% since it released its third-quarter results on Tuesday, which included unfavorable developments in prior year loss reserves.

James River gave no timetable for the review process.

Ollie Sherman, chairman of the board of directors, said in the statement the board had for three years “taken decisive actions to focus resources on core businesses” and sees now as the time “to explore a range of potential strategic alternatives.”