Lloyd’s insurer accepts new offer after rejecting lower bid from Ironshore.

Lloyd’s insurer Heritage this week accepted a £141m takeover bid from Bermuda insurer Argo, just three months after rejecting an approach from another Bermuda firm, Ironshore.

The Heritage board said it would unanimously recommend the 154p per share offer to shareholders, having rejected an offer rumoured to have been 135p per share from Ironshore at the end of last year.

Heritage chief financial officer Nick Denniston said the firm expected to provide 40% of premium income to Argo, and that it would be business as usual for Heritage’s London operations. He said: “There’s very little overlap [between the businesses]. Most of its US business is casualty, whereas most of ours is property.”

Argo’s bid represents a premium of 46% on Heritage’s share price at the start of December, when the company confirmed it had received a takeover approach from an unnamed party. Argo has already received irrevocable undertakings for 60% of Heritage shares.

Mark Watson, president and chief executive of Argo Group International Holdings, said: “We look forward to introducing new business from the extensive Argo Group distribution network.”

Argo Group is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, focusing on excess and surplus lines, select markets and international specialty.

Ironshore’s initial approach at the end of 2007 was rejected by the Heritage board as a significant undervaluation.