NU Online News Service, Dec. 7, 2:19 p.m. EST

Markel Corp. today announced it will acquire Thompson Insurance Enterprises, LLC (THOMCO), a privately held program administrator underwriting multiline insurance programs.

Headquartered in Kennesaw, Ga., THOMCO manages more than 20 national programs including medical transportation, senior living, child care centers, fitness clubs, pest-control operators, tanning salons and inflatable rental operators, among others.

THOMCO expects to underwrite in-excess of $170 million in gross written premium in 2011.

In a statement, THOMCO Chairman Greg Thompson calls the organizations “compatible,” with both building “an excellent reputation for integrity, customer service and underwriting discipline.”

Mike Crowley, Markel’s president and co-chief operating officer, adds, “With the acquisition of THOMCO, we are witnessing the combination of two companies that share a similar history. Both were founded by families that maintain leadership positions in their respective firms and who share similar cultures and values.”

THOMCO produces business through a network of 4,500 producers and has 108 employees. The majority of the employees are located at the home office in Kennesaw in addition to branch offices in Kansas City, Kan., and Denver.

Markel says THOMCO will continue to operate as a separate business unit with Thompson and Bob Heaphey, THOMCO’s president, leading the operation as part of Markel Specialty.

The transaction has been approved by all THOMCO’s members and is expected to close in the 2012 first quarter.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.