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Novae Group Withdraws Bid for Lloyd’s of London Rival Omega

Novae Group Plc, a Lloyd’s of London insurer, said it has withdrawn from merger talks with smaller rival Omega Insurance Holdings Ltd. without giving a reason for the decision.

“It is unlikely a transaction can be structured at this stage which is demonstrably in Novae’s shareholders’ interests,” the London-based insurer said today in a statement. An Omega spokeswoman, Juliet Tilley, declined to comment.

Novae had been bidding with fellow Lloyd’s insurer Barbican Group Holdings Ltd. for Omega, the smallest publicly traded firm in the London market. Stagnant premium rates caused by excess capital has prompted a flurry of acquisition and merger attempts in the past year with Brit Insurance Holdings NV being sold to private-equity firms and Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd. rejecting an approach from Beazley Plc.

Novae rose 0.4 percent to 353.5 pence a share at 3:46 p.m. in London trading. Omega was up 2.6 percent to 80 pence.

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