Canada Pension to Take 9.9% Enstar Stake, Extending Insurer Bet

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the nation’s largest pension fund manager, agreed to buy a 9.9 percent stake in Enstar Group Ltd., extending its bet on reinsurance.

The pension plan is buying about 1.9 million shares from private-equity firm First Reserve, Bermuda-based Enstar said Friday in a statement that didn’t disclose terms. Enstar shares closed at $151.62 in New York. The company focuses on acquiring blocks of coverage in runoff, meaning that it collects revenue and pays claims on policies issued in prior years, without seeking new clients.

Runoff insurance contracts can be attractive to funds as they seek long-term sources of cash to match their liabilities. CPPIB struck a deal last year to buy Wilton Re Holdings Ltd. for $1.8 billion to expand into the life insurance business.

The pension firm “will be a valuable partner for Enstar, and we look forward to a long and productive relationship,” Enstar Chief Executive Officer Dominic Silvester said in the statement. “We are gratified by CPPIB’s interest.”

The deal entitles CPPIB to representation on Enstar’s board, and First Reserve’s Ken Moore will step down from the panel at the completion of the deal, which is expected next week, Enstar said. The stake being purchased by CPPIB includes voting and non-voting shares.

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