Navigators gains EU hub in Antwerp after €35m acquisition

Connecticut-based insurer Navigators has bought two Belgian entities in a €35m ($41m) acquisition that gives it an Antwerp hub from which it will be able to serve its EU-based customers after the UK leaves the European Union.

Navigators is to buy 100% of Assurances Continentales – Continentale Verzekeringen (ASCO) and Bracht, Deckers & Mackelbert (BDM), both based in Antwerp.

ASCO is a specialty insurance company that offers marine, as well as other non-life lines. BDM is an underwriting agency providing coverage in niche markets on behalf of ASCO.

Navigators said that the acquisitions were part of its strategy of expanding its already well-established specialty insurance expertise to more brokers and insureds across Europe.

As part of the transaction Navigators will acquire all the shares of Canal Re SA, a Luxembourg-based reinsurer that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASCO which reinsures certain parts of ASCO’s business. Navigators said that “the acquisition reinforces Navigators’ presence in the European Union’s single market, enabling Navigators to best serve its European clients after Brexit, and also provides opportunity for BDM and ASCO to take their well-established expertise to a wider European audience”.

Stan Galanski, President and CEO of Navigators, said that “we intend to combine our existing European underwriting operations with those of BDM, with Antwerp serving as the hub for continental Europe after the closing of the transaction. We believe the combination provides a wonderful opportunity for the employees and significantly enhances the growth potential of both organizations.”

Navigators will pay €35m in cash at the closing of the transaction, which is anticipated during H1 2018.