Doctors Co. Cleared to Buy SCPIE

Doctors Co. Awarded Antitrust Clearance to Buy Insurer SCPIE Holdings for $281 Million

Doctors Co., a physician-owned provider of medical-malpractice insurance, has received antitrust clearance to acquire SCPIE Holdings Inc. for about $281 million.

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that it granted early termination on Wednesday of the waiting period required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law.

Following the acquisition, Doctors Co. will expand its market leadership in California to nearly 19,000 physicians.

SCPIE Holdings, based in Los Angeles, also provides medical-malpractice insurance.

Investor Joseph Stilwell has urged his fellow SCPIE shareholders to vote against the company’s proposed merger with Doctors Co. Stilwell, who owns nearly 9 percent of SCPIE stock, said he believes the proposed $28-a-share offer doesn’t adequately represent the true value of the company’s assets.

SCPIE on Wednesday said Stilwell’s opposition to the merger may be influenced by his significant stake in another bidder he favors. SCPIE charged that Stilwell’s stake in that bidder, which has not been identified, creates a conflict of interest, and it urged shareholders to disregard his objections.

The 1976 Hart-Scott-Rodino law requires under certain circumstances that prospective acquirers of voting securities or assets apply for clearance from U.S. regulators. Requests for early termination or clearance are granted when the FTC and the Justice Department’s antitrust division decide not to take action during the waiting period.
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