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September 9, 2022

Argo Group to offload Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 to Westfield

Argo Group International has agreed to divest Argo Underwriting Agency and its Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 to American insurer Westfield in a cash deal worth around $125m.

The deal is said to be part of Argo’s plan to simplify its corporate structure and enhance efficiencies by focusing more on core businesses in the US.

Syndicate 1200, which is focused on numerous lines of specialty insurance, has approximately $650m book of business.

Westfield specialty president and industry veteran Jack Kuh said: “We considered multiple pathways but acquiring Syndicate 1200 emerged as a unique opportunity because it gets us into the international specialty market quickly with an established platform while capitalizing on current market dynamics.”

As part of ongoing review of strategic alternatives, Argo board will continue to consider several options for the company.

Argo executive chairman and CEO Tom Bradley said: “As part of our review of strategic alternatives, we are taking decisive actions to optimize our operations and business structure, better positioning the company for continued profitable growth and returns in the U.S. as we strive to maximize value for shareholders.”

Bradley said the sale of Lloyd’s business advances Argo’s primary objective to operate as a US-centric, commercial specialty insurer.

Scheduled to close in the first half of 2023, the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals including UK Prudential Regulation Authority, Lloyd’s of London, and UK Financial Conduct Authority.

Westfield president, CEO and board chair Ed Largent said: “The international specialty market fits well with our growth ambitions and the opportunity with Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 jump-starts our entry into this market.”

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