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ALLEGHANY CORPORATION TO ACQUIRE UNDERWRITERS REINSURANCE COMPANY

 NEW YORK, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Alleghany Corporation (NYSE: Y) announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Underwriters Reinsurance Company from a holding company whose owners are The Continental Corporation (NYSE: CIC). Goldman, Sachs & Co. and certain affiliated investment partnerships, and members of Underwriters Reinsurance management. At the closing, Alleghany will pay cash totaling about $201 million and will receive, in exchange, about 93 percent of the equity of a new holding company which will then own Underwriters Reinsurance, the remaining 7 percent of the new holding company being held by Underwriters Reinsurance management. The closing, which is subject to customary legal conditions and to approval of the transaction by insurance regulatory authorities in New Hampshire and California, is expected to take place in October.
 Underwriters Reinsurance provides reinsurance to property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. Although it underwrites many lines of business, Underwriters Reinsurance focuses primarily on coverages requiring specialized underwriting expertise, including certain excess and surplus lines programs, umbrella liability, directors' and officers' liability and facultative reinsurance. Underwriters Reinsurance also owns a newly formed property and casualty primary insurance subsidiary, Commercial Underwriters Insurance Company, which focuses on specialized insurance lines. Underwriters Reinsurance is headquartered in Woodland Hills, Calif. and has branch offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
 At the closing, all of the consolidated assets and liabilities of the holding company that currently owns Underwriters Reinsurance, known as Underwriters Re Holdings Corp. (Holdings), will be held by the corporate entities being acquired by Alleghany. As reported under generally accepted accounting principles, Holdings' consolidated assets and stockholders' equity as of March 31, 1993 were $1.1 billion and $148.1 million, respectively, and its net income was $28.5 million on revenues of $213.9 million in 1992 and $11.2 million on revenues of $60.7 million in the first quarter of 1993. As of March 31, 1993, Underwriters Reinsurance reported statutory surplus of $185.4 million. A. M. Best Company, the independent industry rating organization, recently upgraded its rating of Underwriters Reinsurance to "A (Excellent)" from "A- (Excellent)," citing Underwriters Reinsurance's strong capital base, reduced debt service obligations and operating performance.
 John J. Burns, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Alleghany, commented: "Since its present management took over in 1987, Underwriters Reinsurance has established an impressive record of growth and profitability. Reflecting this record, from Dec. 31, 1987 to March 31, 1993 Holdings reported an increase in stockholders' equity from $15.7 million to $148.1 million and a reduction of $70 million in its senior debt.
 "We intend to support the continued growth of Underwriters Reinsurance through additional investment and the accumulation of retained earnings; in particular, we intend initially to make an additional investment in Underwriters Reinsurance sufficient to increase its statutory surplus to at least $250 million by 1993 year-end.
 "Our agreement to acquire Underwriters Reinsurance marks an important milestone in Alleghany's ongoing program to redeploy its liquid assets into well-managed operating businesses and we look forward to welcoming Underwriters Reinsurance and its fine management to the Alleghany family of companies."
 Steven H. Newman, president and chief executive officer of Underwriters Reinsurance, stated: "Alleghany's financial strength and integrity will further assure the marketplace of our long-term stability and permit Underwriters Reinsurance to continue its established record of growth. We welcome the prospect of becoming one of Alleghany's outstanding operating units and look forward to a long and rewarding relationship."
 Headquartered in New York, Alleghany Corporation is engaged, through its subsidiaries Chicago Title and Trust Company, Sacramento Savings Bank and World Minerals Inc., in the businesses of title insurance, investment management, retail banking and industrial minerals. Alleghany also conducts a steel fastener importing business through its Heads and Threads division.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: T. E. Somerville of Alleghany Corporation, 212-752-1356, or P. A. Bengelsdorf of Underwriters Reinsurance Company, 818-225-1000/
 (Y CIC)


CO: Alleghany Corporation; Underwriters Reinsurance Company ST: New York, California IN: INS SU: TNM

WB-TS -- NY035 -- 7439 07/29/93 11:05 EDT
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Date:Jul 29, 1993
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