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Navigators agrees Belgian deal in European push

December 18, 2017

US-listed carrier Navigators has agreed to acquire a pair of Belgian entities as part of its European expansion strategy.

As part of the transaction, Navigators will acquire all of the shares of Assurances Continentales - Continentale Verzekeringen NV (ASCO) and Bracht, Deckers & Mackelbert NV (BDM) in a EUR35mn cash deal. In addition, Navigators will also acquire ASCO's Luxembourg-based reinsurance subsidiary Canal Re.

Navigators said that the acquisition reinforces its presence in the EU’s single market, enabling the carrier to best serve its European clients after Brexit, and also provides opportunity for BDM and ASCO to expand its well-established expertise to a wider European audience.

ASCO is a specialty insurance company offering marine and property and casualty insurance. BDM is an insurance underwriting agency that underwrites risk coverage in niche markets on behalf of ASCO and a number of major international insurers.

Navigators’ president and CEO Stan Galanski said that the carrier intends to combine its existing European underwriting operations with those of BDM, with Antwerp serving as the hub for continental Europe after the closing of the transaction.

“Europe is an important market to us today and vital to our international growth strategy — this transaction is an important step to enhancing our presence in and relevance to this dynamic market,” remarked Galanski.

“BDM has a strong reputation, a rich history and a well-established culture of underwriting expertise that mirrors our own. Together with ASCO, they provide Navigators with a scalable platform to support our product lines and geographic expansion across continental Europe,” he added.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to regulatory approval.