Confirmation of plans to relist as a Dutch firm in December

Brit Insurance has confirmed its move to the Netherlands today announcing a new holding company incorporated and taxed in the Netherlands but listed in the UK.

The move requires shareholder approval but should happen before the year end with the delisting and re-listing of shares under the new name on 21 December.

Brit will continue to report results under IFRS in sterling and the proposals will not make any substantial changes to corporate governance, to existing shareholder protection measures nor to the existing distribution policy.

All change, no change

The implementation of the proposals is not expected to have any adverse tax implications for Brit Shareholders, the company said.

Brit said the move “should provide a favourable operating environment from which to further the Group's international development, maintain its competitiveness as an international insurer and reinsurer, and enhance access to additional sources of capital. In addition, the Group should be able better to align its corporate tax rate with those of its global peer group.

“The Board continues to consider its Lloyd's syndicate and its UK FSA authorised insurance company, Brit Insurance Limited, to be attractive underwriting platforms which will remain an important part of the Group's insurance operations for the foreseeable future.

International expansion

“Over time the Group intends to expand its international footprint that currently includes Brit Insurance Services USA, Inc., a fully owned managing general agent based in the US, and a representative office in Japan. In addition, the Board considers that the Netherlands retains for the Group the operational and reputational benefits of an established EU jurisdiction.

“Many of the Group's principal competitors already enjoy substantial tax benefits arising from their domicile; benefits not currently available to Brit. The Board believes that the restructuring of the Group under a new Dutch holding company should provide the opportunity to realise a reduction in the Group's effective tax rate over time aligning it with its global peer group.

“Dutch companies pay no additional tax on the majority of overseas earnings and enjoy a pragmatic regime dealing with income arising overseas. New Brit should continue to benefit from access to a strong network of tax treaties and the fiscal benefits of EU membership. A reduction in the Group's effective tax rate over time should enhance the return on New Brit shareholders' equity and the prospects for New Brit's shareholders.”

Trading position

Brit also said: “There has not been any significant change in the financial or trading position of the Group since 30 June 2009.