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Bermuda Insurer Snaps Up Atrium

by Robin Pilgrim,, London

24 July 2007

It emerged on Friday that Bermuda-based insurance firm Ariel Holdings is to acquire Lloyd's of London insurer Atrium Underwriting.

Ariel provides property, marine, energy and aviation reinsurance.

The two firms revealed last week that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer, under which Atrium Shareholders will receive 365 pence in cash per share.

The offer values the entire existing issued and to be issued share capital of Atrium at approximately GBP193.2 million, assuming the exercise of all outstanding options.

The insurers have stated that:

"The combination of Ariel and Atrium will create a broader underwriting platform, particularly in specialty lines, as well as an extended geographic capability and distribution network."

Don Kramer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ariel, announced on Friday that:

"Atrium is a leading Lloyd's specialist insurer, with a high quality underwriting and management team and a long track record of achieving strong performance under challenging market conditions. Atrium's diversified mix of property and casualty business and access to the Lloyd's market make it a highly complementary addition to Ariel. We look forward to welcoming the employees of Atrium and to working with them to continue the momentum Atrium has built with its customers and partners across the Lloyd's market."

Steve Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Atrium, added:

"The board of Atrium has given careful consideration to the available options for the strategic development of the Atrium group; it sees clear long-term advantages in the development of a multi-platform insurance and reinsurance group. However, it recognises that the achievement of this strategy would require considerably greater capital resources than Atrium can currently support on a stand-alone basis."

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