NU Online News Service, Aug. 12, 3:43 p.m. EDT

Columbus, Ohio-based specialty property and casualty insurer Bancinsurance Corp. plans to go private, offering $8.50 a share for its common stock in an all cash offer.

The company, which writes its insurance business under its subsidiary, Ohio Indemnity Co., would be owned by John S. Sokol, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Barbara K. Sokol; James K. Sokol; Carla A. Sokol; Falcon Equity Partners, L.P.; Matthew D. Walter (a member of the Bancinsurance board of directors); Daniel J. Clark; Joseph E. LoConti; Edward Feighan; and Charles Hamm.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

The price represents a 70 percent premium over the $5 a share the company traded at on March 19. During early morning trading today, the stock rose to over $8 a share. The company has a market cap listed at more than $42 million.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, John Sokol was investigated by the SEC for an accounting matter in 2003 and first quarter of 2004 concerning reserving on the company’s now discontinued bond program. Mr. Sokol settled with the SEC paying a civil penalty of $60,000 while not admitting or denying any guilt.

According to Highline Data, which is owned by Summit Business Media which also owns National Underwriter, in 2009 the company reported net premiums written of more than $44 million and net income of $5.3 million with a combined ratio of 90.9. Of its business mix, 41 percent was inland marine.