Lloyd’s insurer makes second attempt to buy troubled peer with 65p a share offer

Canopius has offered to buy the entire share capital of troubled Lloyd’s insurer Omega for 65p a share.

The offer values Omega at £158.7m - a discount to Omega’s 2011 net tangible assets of £186.3m (76p a share).

However, the offer is a small premium to Omega’s current share price, which was 62.75p at yesterday’s close.

“Omega will now consult with shareholders and a further announcement will be made when appropriate,” Omega said in a stock exchange announcement issued this morning.

It added: “There can be no certainty that a formal offer from Canopius will be forthcoming on these or other terms.”

Omega made a loss of $89.2m (£57.7m) in 2011, widening the $42.8m loss it made in 2010.

Omega has been the centre of bidding speculation for the past week following the sale of  fellow Lloyd’s insurer Hardy to US insurer CNA.

This is the second time Canopius has tried to buy Omega. It lost out in a bidding war to Bermudian investment firm Haverford last year, which ultimately walked away from the deal, leaving Omega to go it alone.

Canopius’s executive chairman Michael Watson has long had an ambition to buy Omega. He first revealed his desire to purchase the firm at the annual Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous in 2010.