A newcomer to the specialty program insurance and alternative risk transfer (ART) markets, SPARTA Insurance Holdings announced that it acquired an insurance company from OneBeacon on Friday.
Without disclosing terms of the deal, Hartford, Conn.-based SPARTA said it acquired American Employers’ Insurance Company, an insurer licensed in 52 jurisdictions, from a subsidiary of OneBeacon Insurance Company. OneBeacon is the Canton, Mass.-based unit of White Mountain Group.
The acquired company will be renamed SPARTA Insurance Company and will serve as the operating platform for a new specialty program insurance and alternative risk transfer business. SPARTA is an acronym for Specialty Program and Risk Transfer Alternatives, signifying the company’s intention to underwrite property and casualty insurance for the specialty and alternative risk program marketplaces.
George L. Estes III, the founder and former chief executive officer of Discover Re–a similar business operation–is leading SPARTA as chairman and CEO.
The announcement about the acquisition comes just days after the holding company announced that it had closed its contractual arrangements for funding in the amount of $279.1 million of private equity capital.
The capital came from a consortium of investors led by Corsair Capital, including Goldman Sachs, York Capital Management, Primus Capital Funds and KBW Capital Partners.
In addition to Mr. Estes, SPARTA’s founding officers include other former Discover Re executives–Kevin G. Costello, who will serve as SPARTA’s president and chief operating officer, and Dawne E. Ware, who will be chief financial officer.
Discover Re, which started operating in the alternative risk transfer business in 1991, was acquired by USF&G in the mid-1990s, ultimately becoming a unit of Travelers after USF&G was acquired by St. Paul (which later merged with Travelers).