Revised offer was ‘higher than Haverford’s’

Canopius says it continues to look for strategic opportunities to boost growth after withdrawing its offer to buy fellow Lloyd’s insurer Omega.

Omega said today that it was focusing on a rival offer from Bermudan investment firm Haverford after Invesco, Omega’s biggest shareholder, indicated a preference for the Haverford offer.

Omega had also received an offer from Lloyd’s insurer Barbican, but dubbed this: “not in shareholders’ interests”.

Canopius put in an offer for the entire share capital of Omega on 13 October, after making an ‘indicative proposal’ in September to buy the firm for 83p a share. Haveford has offered up to 83p a share for 25% of the firm.

Noting Invesco’s desire to retain its Omega holding, Canopius had offered Invesco the opportunity to reinvest a substantial portion of its proceeds from the merger into the combined entity. However, Invesco preferred the Haverford offer.

“In view of its inability to secure a recommendation from the Board of Omega and the support of its largest shareholder for its offer, Canopius is withdrawing from the process,” a Canopius statement reads.

While Canopius’s indicative proposal was in line with Haverford’s offer, Canopius chairman Michael Watson said that his firm’s revised offer was a “higher price than the Haverford offer”.

“We are disappointed not to be able to proceed with our offer and wish Omega and its shareholders all good fortune,” Watson said in the statement. “Canopius will continue to review strategic opportunities to supplement its successful organic growth.”