Bermudan insurer buys Goshawk

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Shareholders in Goshawk Insurance were offered the chance yesterday to sell out of the company following a catastrophic five years that has seen the Lloyd's of London insurer lose more than 90 per cent of its value.

Goshawk's board recommended a £45.7m offer from Enstar Group, a Bermuda-based insurer, which values the shares at 5.2p, a premium of more than 50 per cent to the closing price on Friday of 3.5p.

The deal represents the end for Goshawk, which at the beginning of 2003 was trading at about 70p a share. The insurer suffered disastrous losses in 2005 on claims related to Hurricane Katrina, which led to it breaching its banking covenants. Goshawk subsequently announced its closure to new business. The insurer and its main subsidiary, Rosemont Re, have since been managed on a run-off basis.

Dominic Silvester, Enstar's chief executive, said this process would continue under the new owner.

Goshawk's chief executive, Michael Dawson, added: "[This] offer represents an option for Goshawk's shareholders to achieve finality after what has been a difficult period ... the board believes that the cash offer from Enstar Acquisitions provides both an attractive premium and ... represents a realistic and satisfactory outcome."