QBE to Buy RenaissanceRe Unit for $275 Million for U.S. Growth

QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Australia’s largest insurer by market value, agreed to buy the U.S. insurance business of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. for about $275 million to expand in its biggest market.

The acquisition, which includes a U.S. crop insurance business, may swell earnings per share in the first year and will be funded by existing resources, QBE said in a statement. The asset should generate more than $350 million of gross written premium in 2011, the Sydney-based company said.

The purchase would be at least the fourth by QBE this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. QBE in April agreed to buy NAU Country Insurance Co. and its holding companies for $565 million to add a U.S. underwriter and manager of crop insurance.

“The acquisition is in line with our strategy of acquiring specialist businesses to further enhance our product diversification and distribution,” Frank O’Halloran, QBE’s chief executive officer, said in today’s statement.

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