$604 Million USD Transaction Advances Growth Strategy for AXIS Capital’s Insurance Business
PEMBROKE, Bermuda & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (“AXIS Capital”) (NYSE:AXS) announced that it is acquiring Novae Group plc (“Novae”) (LON: NVA), a diversified specialty (re)insurer that operates through Lloyd’s of London. The $604 million USD transaction adds scale and breadth to the international specialty insurance business of AXIS, creating a $2 billion USD insurer in the London specialty market anchored as a top ten insurer at Lloyd’s. Based on 2016 actual results, the combination overall represents a global specialty (re)insurer with gross written premiums in excess of $6 billion USD.
“A key component of our growth strategy is to have leadership positions, relevance and scale in each of the specialty risk markets where we choose to compete,” said Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital. “The acquisition of Novae is a great opportunity to accelerate the breadth and depth of talent, lines of business, and leadership positions that we are developing in the London market for specialty risks, advancing our growth and enabling us to better serve our clients.”
AXIS Capital also announced that, following the completion of the transaction, Novae CEO Matthew Fosh will be appointed the Company’s Executive Chair, Europe, and will report to Mr. Benchimol.
“By joining AXIS, we are becoming part of a global leader in specialty insurance and reinsurance. AXIS is an ideal partner for Novae’s clients and our employees – and I am particularly enthused for our employees who will benefit from having access to the financial strength of a major global carrier and to the enhanced tools, support and resources required to grow our portfolio of underwriting businesses,” said Mr. Fosh.
Mr. Fosh added, “Our organizations share like-minded corporate cultures grounded in a client-centric, innovative and entrepreneurial mentality. Moreover, our businesses are highly complementary, creating significant potential for our combined platform.”
Among his responsibilities in his new role, Mr. Fosh will help guide the integration of the two businesses. Additionally, Novae CUO Robert Forster will have a senior underwriting management role on the leadership team of AXIS’ international insurance division, which is led by CEO Mark Gregory.
“By acquiring Novae, we are strengthening our position in the London market while bringing aboard a complementary business and tremendous talent. Novae is known for its market-leading underwriting talent, who we expect will thrive at AXIS and we are so glad to welcome them to our team,” said Peter Wilson, CEO of AXIS Insurance.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Credit Suisse International and Fenchurch Advisory Partners are acting as financial advisors to AXIS Capital.