Deal expected to complete today

THB Group said that its acquisiton discussions with PWS Holdings were back on after the legal issues that had previously hindered the deal talks had been resolved.

As a result, THB expects to be in a position to announce very shortly the acquisition of the UK and European-based business and certain assets of PWS International, together with some assets of PWS Group Services and PWS Holdings, including selected overseas interests.

"While there can be no guarantee that the acquisition will take place, negotiations are in their final stages with the objective of completion later today. A further announcement will be made as soon as completion occurs," THB said in a statement.

THB has agreed terms for the acquisition as follows:

THB will pay £8.5 million, comprising £4.5 million in cash at completion; and £2.0 million in loan notes to be issued on 1 January 2009; and a further £2.0 million in loan notes to be issued on 1 January 2010.

PWS operates as an independent international reinsurance broker and is particularly well established in key growth markets in Singapore and Brazil. If it takes place, the acquisition would secure for THB established operations with a strong brand in targeted growth markets; raised market and client awareness of THB; reduced dependence on volatile US CAT business;opportunities to leverage key market relationships; the services of a number of highly regarded insurance professionals with complementary skills in classes of business new to THB.

Vic Thompson, Group CEO of THB, said: "As both companies made clear in our respective press releases last week, we have always felt the businesses of THB and PWS are highly complementary and I trust we can shortly announce the conclusion of the transaction."