Sompo sells Canopius in private equity sale


Sompo Canopius, which has a major presence on Bermuda, has announced that it is being bought up by a private equity consortium led by Centerbridge Partners and including private investment firm Gallatin Point Capital.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 and is subject regulatory approval, after which Canopius will become a standalone business led by incumbent executive chairman Michael Watson and chief underwriting officer Mike Duffy.

“I am truly excited to be making this announcement today,” said Watson. “This provides us with a golden opportunity to create a world class specialty (re)insurance franchise through harnessing the extraordinary talents of our staff and the acumen and financial resources of new owners Centerbridge. We are grateful to Sompo for their support for our business over the past three years and recognise their generosity in allowing us to chart this new course. Our close business and personal connections with Sompo have existed for many years and we hope to maintain a strong business relationship with them in future.”

Canopius was founded in 2003 and writes premium income in excess of $1.6 billion. The company claims that business is poised for growth on a scalable platform when conditions are conducive, and will continue to focus on underwriting excellence and building its presence and capabilities in support of its brokers and clients.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Canopius,” said Duffy. “We have vastly experienced, leading underwriters with deep knowledge and an obsessive underwriting mentality. They are supported by cutting edge analytics and a first class claims capability, giving us a superb platform to drive growth at the right time. We will continue to focus on those classes where we add value to our clients and brokers and seek profitable diversification through the recruitment of new teams and entry into new classes. I believe we represent a very attractive home for industry leading talent who will thrive in an environment where performance and accountability is rewarded and an independent mind-set is valued.”

“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition and greatly look forward to working with Michael Watson and all the team at Canopius,” said Ben Langworthy, senior managing director at Centerbridge. “We believe that Canopius’ expertise and successful track record in the global insurance market offers a compelling proposition in the insurance space. Canopius is an established and high quality global (re)insurer, offering skilled underwriting, excellent risk management and a truly open-minded approach. Our aim will be to support continuity of the management team and business to build on the very impressive success achieved to date.”

Sompo Canopius, M&A, Acquisition, Centerbridge Partners, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Japan, Lloyd's, London, UK

Bermuda Re