Private equity tycoon Guy Hands and Canopius rumoured to be gunning for Lloyd's insurer

Lloyd's insurer Chaucer is at the centre of a bidding war, following a number of approaches that have caused the share price to boom.

Private equity tycoon Guy Hands, who runs Terra Firma, and only last week returned record label EMI to the banks, is understood to have made an approach, according to Sky News.

Market sources linked Canopius, whose bid for Omega appears to have stalled, as a bidder.

Chaucer's share price stood at 63p, up 10.25p, or 19.43%, in today's trading. It's closing price on Friday was 52.75p.

The Lloyd's insurer has received "a number of approaches", but as yet, no formal offer has been made. It has a market value of close to £300m.

The company said in a statement: "Chaucer Holdings PLC, the specialist Lloyd's insurance group, notes the recent share price movement and confirms that it has recently received a number of approaches regarding a possible offer for the Company.

"There is no certainty that these approaches will result in any offer being made for the Company, or as to what terms any such offer may include.

"A further announcement on this subject will be made if and when appropriate."

Click here to read our interview with Chaucer chief executive Bob Stuchbery, which featured in Insurance Times in December 2010.