With Michael Faulkner
Good news for troubled insurer Goshawk and its shareholders this week with an offer from run-off specialist Enstar. The Bermuda-based specialist swept in with a proposed £45.7m bid for beleaguered Goshawk, which is battling with the run-off of subsidiary Rosemont Re.
Rosemont Re was put into run-off in 2005 following substantial hurricane losses in 2004 and 2005. Goshawk’s share price has been languishing at under 5p a share after plunging from 45p in September 2005.
Enstar’s offer values Goshawk at 5.2p a share, which represented a premium of 49% to the closing price of 3.5p per Goshawk share on 20 June 2008. Goshawk’s directors said the proposal would be recommended to shareholders. Goshawk’s shares climbed more than 45% to over 5p on the news.
Dominic Silvester, chief executive of the Enstar Group, said: "For some time we have thought that there was value in the Goshawk operation, and are pleased to have the opportunity both to apply Enstar's run-off expertise to Goshawk to create value for Enstar shareholders, and provide a realisation opportunity for the shareholders in Goshawk."
Nearly a year and a half into Andrew Moss’s tenure as Aviva chief executive, the group’s share price has continued its downward trend. Since Aviva’s failed approach for the Prudential, its shares have fallen 32% in real terms and underperformed the market by 30%. Citigroup this week suggested that one way to add some fizz into the Aviva share price would be to demerge the property and casualty (P&C) business from its life arm. Although there has been no suggestion from Aviva’s management that it is considering this course of action, Citigroup suggested that a demerged P&C business might attract a valuation of £5,296m or a 1.64xNAV. This would be a gain of £2,289 or 87p, and could put 10% on Aviva’s share price. Aviva’s shares were trading at 544p as Insurance Times went to press, down 7.33% during the week.
Insurer software house SSP was forced to issue a statement to the market this week that it had entered into discussions with an unnamed financial buyer that could lead to a bid for the business, after its share price climbed. The AIM-listed company’s stock had climbed 10p from 156p prompting the announcement, which saw the price spike at over 172p a share. As Insurance Times went to press its stock was trading at 158.50p.