July 6 (Reuters) - Lloyd’s of London insurer Novae Group Plc said it had agreed to be taken over by AXIS Capital , a Bermuda-based speciality lines insurer and reinsurer, for 467.6 million pounds ($605.07 million) in cash.
The 700 pence per share offer for Novae represents a premium of over 20 percent to the London-based insurer’s closing price on Wednesday.
AXIS Chief Executive Albert Benchimol said the acquisition of Novae, which covers property, casualty, marine, aviation and political risk, would create an about $2 billion player in the London speciality market.
“It (Novae) remains a relatively small player in a global industry. AXIS is a substantial and successful business which represents an excellent partner for the Novae business, its customers and employees,” John Hastings-Bass, Chairman of Novae, said.
AXIS operates in the United States, Europe, Singapore, the Middle East, Canada and Latin America.
Insurers have been preparing for a wave of mergers and acquisitions, as valuations in the Lloyd’s insurance market became more attractive to overseas buyers due to a fall in the value of the pound after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Credit Suisse International and Fenchurch Advisory Partners LLP are the financial advisers to AXIS, while Evercore is advising Novae.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are the legal advisers to AXIS. Slaughter and May is providing legal advise to Novae. ($1 = 0.7728 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)