UK-based speciality insurance firm Beazley is looking to raise approximately £385m to support growth and fund underwriting opportunities. 

Beazley plans to issue 60,959,017 new ordinary shares priced at five pence each, representing around 9.99% of the firm’s existing share capital. 

Explaining the rationale behind the capital raise, Beazley stated: “The market dislocation in select insurance classes gives us a strategic opportunity to accelerate our growth trajectory and increase net premium exposure in areas where we believe we can deliver outsized returns, namely cyber and speciality business.”

In addition to the ordinary share issue, Beazley plans to make an offer on the PrimaryBid platform to tap the retail investor market. 

The retail offer is available to both existing shareholders and new investors. 

According to the board of directors, this is the right time for the business to raise equity to support Beazley’s growth plans and strengthen the balance sheet to withstand a variety of stress scenarios.

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The capital raise will be conducted through an accelerated book-building process, which commenced following the announcement, Beazley said.

In a separate development, Beazley allied with Assureful to launch a usage-based liability insurance solution for e-commerce companies.

The new offering, initially available across the US, will use Assureful’s technology to track sales data and calculate usage-based premiums.

Beazley incubation underwriter Neil Kempston commented: “Making use of cutting-edge data science techniques, including natural language processing and image detection facilitated by machine learning, the solution relieves the pain points experienced by fast-moving companies that badly need a responsive insurance solution.”

Assureful founder & chief executive Rohit Nair said: “As eCommerce sellers ourselves, we know the pain of randomly projecting annual revenue which is always wrong leaving businesses over or under-insured. 

“Data and technology have allowed us to develop a truly usage-based Commercial General Liability insurance product for eCommerce businesses of all sizes.”