American Financial Takes 67% Stake in Lloyd's Marketform
Lloyds’s insurer, Marketform Group Limited, which specilizes in non-US medical malpractice and other specialty lines, announced that American Financial Group Inc. (AFG) is to become the majority shareholder in its business, increasing the Company’s presence as an international specialist insurer.
The acquisition, which remains subject to approval by Lloyd’s and the UK’s Financial Services Authority, calls for AFG to acquire around a 67 percent share in Marketform, valuing the business at approximately Â£55 million ($110.8 million). The current management and staff will continue to own the remaining one third of the equity.
“The new investment from AFG gives a solid financial platform that will help take the company to the next level of development, providing us with new opportunities, new lines of business to underwrite and ultimately further growth,” noted Holly Bellingham, Chairman, Marketform Group. “In essence, it is all change but no change, as the analogy between the philosophies of the two companies will ensure that the Marketform brand, management and values will remain unaltered.”
She added her appreciation to Caledonia Investments, “who since taking a minority share in the company in 2003 have supported us admirably, and who will now be exiting their investment as a result of this transaction.”
Tim Ingram, Chief Executive, Caledonia Investments responded that he was “pleased that Marketform has found such a strong trade partner,” adding that it “can only augur well for the future security and financial performance of the company.”
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, AFG, through its Great American Insurance Group, specializes in providing commercial property and casualty insurance mainly in the US, together with annuity and supplemental insurance products.
AFG’s Co-CEO Carl Lindner III indicated that he was “excited to partner with Marketform’s management and employees to grow our business internationally.” He added that “Marketform’s existing book of business and underwriting philosophy are a good match for AFG and Great American Insurance Group. We are committed to expanding Marketform’s current product offerings into several of our specialty businesses. This acquisition supports one of our strategic objectives of Marketform is a leading specialist liability insurer and was founded by group chairman Holly Bellingham in 1989 after she led a management buy-out from the Crawley Warren Group.”
In addition to its Lloyd’s activities Marketform also operates subsidiary companies in Spain, Italy and Australia, where it specializes in non-US medical professional liability insurance and other specialty casualty lines such as professional indemnity, general liability, product recall, directors and officers’ liability and specialist personal accident business.
The Marketform Group includes the Lloyd’s managing agent that manages Lloyd’s Syndicate 2468 (Marketform Managing Agency Limited), two Lloyd’s corporate members that provide capital to Syndicate 2468, and a Lloyd’s service company that writes insurance on behalf of a consortium of syndicates that includes Syndicate 2468 (Marketform Limited).