HCC Buys Surety Associates Holding

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NU Online News Service, Dec. 11, 3:44 p.m.EST?HCC Insurance Holdings Inc., a Houston-based specialtyinsurer, is purchasing Surety Associates Holding Co. Inc. and itsmain subsidiary American Contractors Indemnity Company, a LosAngeles-based surety company.[@@]

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American Contractors Indemnity Company is one of the marketleaders in providing court, specialty contract, license and permitbonds. Its gross written premium is estimated to be more than $50million in 2004.

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Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the saleis expected to close in the next few weeks, pending regulatoryapproval, HHC said.

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After the acquisition, Robert Thomas, current chief executive atAmerican Contractors Indemnity Company, will continue to overseeoperations for that business, HCC said.

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HCC chief executive Stephen Way, commenting on his company'sacquisition, said the acquisition "will further expand ourdiversified financial products segment and be immediatelyaccretive." American Contractors Indemnity Company's small businessprofile and national platform, Mr. Way also noted, will provide HCCthe "formula for future growth and success in the suretybusiness."

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HCC offers specialized property-casualty insurance andunderwrites for other unaffiliated insurers. It also providesrelated services for commercial and individual clients. Last month,the company posted third-quarter net profit of $38.4 million, a 58percent increase compared to one year ago.

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