Validus Re acquires Talbot Underwriting for an estimated price tag of £200m

Talbot Underwriting has been sold to a Bermuda-based reinsurer after months of speculation over its future.

The Lloyd's insurer was finally bought earlier this week by Validus Re in a deal worth an estimated £200m.

Insurance Times first revealed that Talbot was on the market earlier this year (News, 8 February). The sale is the first significant take-over of a Lloyd's insurer by one of the Bermuda reinsurers set up in 2005 after hurricane Katrina.

A number of Bermuda companies have shown interest in investing in the London market after record profits in 2006. At one stage fellow Bermuda reinsurer Ariel Re was touted as favourite to buy Talbot after it was put on the market by its private equity owner Black Diamond Group (News, 1 March).

It is understood that interest was also expressed from a number of other parties including Lloyd's insurer Chaucer, which is thought to have made strong advances.

Talbot will be the Validus group's principal operation in the direct insurance market, and Talbot's Syndicate 1183 will form its primary point of access to the London market.

It is intended that the business should continue trading in the Lloyd's market through Talbot Underwriting and through URSL, and no significant change is envisaged in the scope or scale of its activities, or to its underwriting and administrative teams.

Validus Re specialises in property catastrophe, per risk, marine and energy, retrocession and other specialty short-tail lines of reinsurance. It is backed by US private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners.