The Hartford Financial Services Group, a Connecticut-based insurer, has agreed to acquire local rival The Navigators Group in an all-cash deal worth $2.1bn.

Established in 1974, specialty underwriter Navigators offers insurance services to maritime, construction, energy, environmental, professional services and life sciences.

Navigators has 22 offices across the US and eight offices internationally. It employs around 820 staff, who will migrate to The Hartford as part of the deal.

As per the agreed terms of the transaction, Navigators shareholders are entitled to receive $70 per share in cash.

Navigators president and CEO Stanley Galanski said: “We look forward to bringing Navigators’ specialty lines capabilities to The Hartford, an organisation that shares our commitment to underwriting excellence, attracting and retaining top talent, and delivering exceptional customer experiences.”

The deal has already secured the green light from the Navigators board.

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It is expected to be wrapped up in the first half of next year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The Hartford expects the deal to offer “attractive returns” and said that it could lower its 2019 net income.

However, the insurer also expects the deal to boost its 2020 net income by $30m to $75m.

Moreover, The Hartford said that it has adequate resources to fund the acquisition. As a result, it does not plan to issue common equity for the deal.

The Hartford chairman and CEO Christopher Swift said: “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Navigators, which we are confident will achieve key strategic and financial objectives for The Hartford.

“It expands our product offerings and geographic reach, and adds tenured and proven underwriting and industry talent while strengthening our value proposition to agents and customers. We are optimistic about our combined growth opportunities and expect the acquisition to generate attractive returns.”