North Pointe Holdings Corp, a Southfield, Mich.-based specialtyinsurer that counts bowling centers and skating rinks among itsunderwriting niches, said late yesterday that a unit of QBEInsurance Group will pay $146 million to buy the company.

The firm said it had signed a definitive merger agreement to beacquired by QBE Holdings Inc. in New York, a subsidiary ofAustralia's QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

In 2007 the Sydney-based property-casualty insurer completed twomuch larger U.S. deals--for Winterthur U.S. and Praetorian.

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