OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. Reportedly Exploring A Sale; Stock Rises

The shares of OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:OB) are trading higher due to the report that its majority owner is exploring a sale.  OneBeacon is a specialty property and casualty insurer based in Bermuda.

The stock price of OneBeacon increased more than 4% to $15.71 per share at the time of this writing, around 12:23 A.M. in New York.  The specialty property and casualty insurer currently has a market capitalization of around $1.5 billion.

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White Mountains informally approaching buyers for OneBeacon

White Mountains Insurance Group controls 75% stake in OneBeacon. It is informally approaching buyers for the specialty property and casualty insurer, according to Bloomberg based on information from people familiar with the situation.

The sources said White Mountains is not willing to sell OneBeacon if cannot get an acquisition offer that is high enough. They said White Mountains is assessing the market’s interest for OneBeacon.

Insurance companies are facing new competition from hedge funds. Earlier this year, XL Group agreed to acquire Caitlin Group for approximately $4 billion while PartnerRe and Acis Capital Holdings entered a merger agreement.

The shares of White Mountains are trading $690.03 per share, up by more than 1%. The company has approximately $4.13 billion market capitalization.

Fosun International among those interested in OneBeacon

Several companies including China’s Fosun International Limited is interested to acquire OneBeacon, according to the people, who requested anonymity because of the matter is private.

Fosun International is an investment and asset management company. It has holdings in four industries including healthcare & pharmaceuticals, real estate, insurance and steel.

Fosun International and Anbang Insurance Group are among the companies in China that have been engaged in acquisitions globally. The companies have been acquiring competitors in Europe and properties in the United States.

Last month, it was reported that Fosun International is considering a bid to buy Cushman and Wakefield, the third largest real estate company worldwide.

The Chinese investment company acquired a 5% stake in Thomas Cook Group for 92 million pounds or $140 million.

The stock price of Fosun International surged more than 9% to $17.90 per share. It has approximately $124.13 billion market capitalization.