Bermuda start-up’s cash offer for Lloyd's insurer is unconditional

Ariel’s cash offer for Atrium Underwriting is now unconditional, reports AFX news.

It announced it had received approval from the Financial Services Authority and Lloyd’s for the acquisition to take place.

If accepted by Atrium’s shareholders this is expected to lead to its delisting from the London Stock Exchange and the resignation of non-executives directors.

In a letter on 14 August, Atrium’s chairman James Joll had urged shareholders to accept the offer.

The offer was formally announced on 20 July 2007. The boards of Atrium and Ariel announced they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer under which Ariel would acquire the whole of the share capital of Atrium.

The offer values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Atrium at approximately £192.7m.

“Atrium Directors… see clear long-term advantages in the development of an alternative underwriting platform, probably in Bermuda, as a complement to the existing Lloyd’s-based operations,” said the letter.

“However, they recognise that the achievement of this strategy would require considerably greater capital resources than Atrium can currently support on a standalone basis.”

In his letter to shareholders, Ariel chairman Don Kramer said:

“The combination with Ariel provides Atrium with access to a high quality Bermudian reinsurance platform together with additional capital for strategic development within the Lloyd’s platform.

Kramer also announced Ariel would be establishing a US admitted carrier which “will bring the potential for synergies with the US business written by Syndicate 570.”

He emphasised Ariel’s desire to continue the momentum Atrium has built across the Lloyd’s market.