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WILLIS CORROON GROUP PLC PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF GRYPHON HOLDINGS INC.

 NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Willis Corroon Group plc (NYSE: WCG) ("the Group") announced that a registration statement has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to an initial public offering ("the IPO") in the United States of approximately 56 percent of the common stock of Gryphon Holdings Inc. ("Gryphon").
 Gryphon is a U.S. subsidiary of the Group through which is held the Group's 100 percent interest in two insurance companies in the United States, Associated International Insurance Company ("Associated") and Calvert Insurance Company ("Calvert"). These companies primarily write specialty commercial property and casualty lines of insurance for small to medium-sized insureds.
 Associated, a California corporation formed in 1972, is an admitted carrier in California and an approved excess and surplus lines insurer in 47 other states. It writes specialty lines of commercial property and casualty insurance, including architects' and engineers' professional liability, difference in conditions (primarily earthquake coverage), excess casualty and specialty programs.
 Calvert, a Pennsylvania corporation formed in 1925, is a specialty property and casualty insurance company admitted in 49 states in the United States, in the District of Columbia, and in Canada and all its provinces.
 In the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, Gryphon contributed $17.5 million (9.9 million pounds at the average exchange rate for 1992 of $1.77 equals 1 pound) to the Group's consolidated pre-tax profit on ordinary activities from continuing operations of $120.7 million (68.2 million pounds).
 Since its creation in 1990, the Group has concentrated its strategic development on its core businesses of insurance and reinsurance broking, risk management and consultancy. The Group has invested significant resources in the development of these operations, including the acquisition of interests in and establishment of a number of insurance broking and consultancy businesses in continental Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom.
 During this time the Group has steadily withdrawn from underwriting. The board's decision to dispose of Gryphon, initially through the proposed IPO of at least a majority shareholding, is a continuation of this policy, which will reduce the risk-taking element of the Group's business. Any decision to dispose of Gryphon shares in the future will be taken only if it is, in the opinion of the board, in the best interests of the Group and its shareholders given the price and general market and other conditions.
 It is anticipated that a circular will be sent in late October or early November to all the Group's shareholders giving details of the disposal of Gryphon and convening an Extraordinary General Meeting at which their approval for the disposal will be sought. It is expected that the IPO will take place during the fourth quarter of this year.
 The co-managing underwriters of the IPO in the United States will be Smith Barney Shearson Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Lehman Brothers.
 A registration statement relating to the common stock of Gryphon has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. The common stock may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
 -0- 9/24/94
 /CONTACT: U.K.: John Robbins, 071-488-8578, or Peter Stevens, 071-481-7045; U.S.A.: Stephen Crane, 212-344-7600, or Mary Fairchild, 615-872-3044, all of Willis Corroon/
 (WCG)


CO: Willis Corroon Group plc; Gryphon Holdings Inc. ST: New York IN: INS SU: OFR

RA-BN -- AT004 -- 5393 09/24/93 11:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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