Canopius completes $952mn Sompo buyout
By Bernard Goyder
Canopius has completed its private equity-backed $952mn buyout from Japan’s Sompo Holdings. The London carrier said the deal, which was struck in September, has now passed all regulatory hurdles. The buyout puts Canopius in the hands of Centerbridge’s Fortuna Holdings Limited, a Jersey-based holding company. Gallatin Point Capital and Canopius management are the other shareholders.
Canopius was formed in 2003 and wrote more than $1.5bn of premium in 2017. The sale by Sompo marks the Japanese carrier’s first significant disposal of an asset and follows its $6.3bn purchase of Endurance, which closed a year ago.
The Japanese company had originally planned to merge the smaller Canopius with Endurance but quickly realised the union could destroy value, so agreed to give management room to look for a deal. But the door was always closed to strategic bidders, with Sompo preferring to hold onto the business than to sell it to a rival.
Canopius chairman Michael Watson said: “I am delighted to herald the dawn of an exciting new chapter in Canopius’s journey. “This has re-energised our exceptionally talented team who, with the financial strength and insights of our new owners, will continue to pursue our ambition of building a world-class specialty (re)insurance franchise.”
Ben Langworthy and Matthew Kabaker, senior managing directors at Centerbridge, said: “We believe Canopius has a great opportunity to build on its outstanding track record and look forward to helping grow the business responsibly.”
In a short statement former parent Sompo confirmed the share transfer had completed and said it would not have a significant impact on its results.