Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: ARGO), an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, today announced an agreement to sell its reinsurance business, Ariel Re, to Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers & Co., both private equity investors with significant insurance expertise. Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to occur in 2020.
“Ariel Re is well known in the reinsurance market, and we are confident the business will thrive as part of Pelican Ventures,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Rehnberg.
“Argo Group will continue to focus on specialty insurance lines of business that we expect will result in profitable growth and improved shareholder value,” Rehnberg said. “This transaction aligns with our strategy to simplify the business and streamline operations.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the buying group’s corporate member will provide Ariel Re’s capital for the 2021 year of account, and Argo Group has agreed to retain historical reserves.
“Pelican Ventures is excited to be investing in Ariel Re and bringing on board talented professionals with unparalleled reinsurance market underwriting expertise and risk management analysis skills,” said Pelican Ventures Co-Founder Jim Stanard. “With the financial strength and insights of our new ownership group and under the leadership of Ryan Mather, we will pursue our ambition of building a world-class manager of (re)insurance risk.”
Morgan Stanley; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and Clyde & Co LLP served as advisers on the transaction.