Barbican is back for a second attempt to snap up Omega

Barbican Insurance has made a fresh takeover approach for its rival Omega Insurance, reigniting bid interest in Omega after potential deals to buy the company collapsed last year.

The privately held Barbican said it had sent a letter which outlined an indicative merger proposal for Omega this week. The letter added any transaction would be a merger of equals.

Barbican's move comes after an initial approach it made for Omega last September failed, and follows a month after Mark Byrne's Bermudian reinsurer Haverford also ended talks over buying a stake in Omega. Small Lloyd's of London insurers such as Omega are seen as ripe for consolidation because weak insurance prices have weighed on their shares, opening up potentially attractive takeover opportunities.

Barbican said that any deal would take place via a share exchange, which would leave Omega shareholders owning the majority of the shares in the new, combined company, with no acquisition premium paid to Barbican shareholders.

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