Insurer Hardy accepts £143m offer from CNA Financial

City A.M. Reporter
Lloyd's of London insurer Hardy Underwriting said it had accepted a 280 pence per share cash takeover offer from US rival CNA Financial, valuing it at about £143m.

"The Board believes that CNA's offer represents the most attractive outcome for our shareholders and will enhance Hardy's business," Hardy Chairman David Mann said in a statement.

Hardy effectively put itself up for sale in December after being hit hard by a string of natural disasters last year, and had received offers from rivals including Ireland-based Beazley.

Smaller Lloyd's of London insurers have been seen as ripe for consolidation because persistently weak insurance prices have weighed on their shares, with forthcoming strict regulatory capital requirements adding further financial pressure.

Chaucer accepted a £292m offer from Hanover Insurance last year, while Brit Insurance succumbed in 2010 to a bid from buyout firms Apollo and CVC.