Insurer needs to exploit bid interest

David Hellier
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YOU wait ages for a bus and then three come at once, or so the saying goes. Shareholders in Omega, the insurance group headed by Richard Pexton, must feel similarly.

The loss-making group, which has been on the radar of Canopius for many months, now has three proposals to consider after rival Barbican yesterday confirmed its interest.

None of the proposals are ideal. The Canopius full offer for the group looks a little mean at 83p a share and it is still subject to due diligence.

The offer from Mark Byrne involves the reinsurer managing the company and possibly ramping up its costs. He will only tender for 25 per cent of the shares.

Barbican’s deal involves a reverse takeover that will only allow 25 per cent of Omega investors to exit.

Omega’s board has done well to get an auction going. Now it needs one of the three to improve their terms, preferably Canopius.