Amlin CEO Says Insurer Not Up for Sale as Rumors Circulate

Amlin Plc Chief Executive Officer Charles Philipps damped speculation that the Lloyd’s of London insurer is looking for a buyer, saying the firm is strong enough to remain independent.

“We are not for sale, we are not running a sale process,” Philipps said on a conference call for first-half earnings on Monday. “I am running a company that has big ambitions and we are trying to deliver on our strategy, full stop.”

Philipps’ comments come amid a flurry of mergers & acquisitions activity among Amlin’s peers in the Lloyd’s and Bermuda insurance markets. He denied a report by the Insurance Insider in July that said Amlin would be open to a sale if a buyer was willing to pay as much as $5 billion, saying “rumors seemed to be rife.”

The shares fell 2.7 percent to 486.6 pence at 10:23 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of about 2.45 billion pounds ($3.8 billion). A broader gauge of U.K. non-life insurers was down 1.6 percent.

Catlin Group Ltd. and Brit Plc have each sought safety this year in a merger with a larger insurer as an influx of reinsurance capital pushes prices lower and spreads into other lines of business. So far in 2015, insurers across the globe have been targeted in about $69 billion of deals, more than double the amount for the same period a year ago.

Amlin, which on Tuesday reported pretax profit falling 3.5 percent to 143.3 million pounds in the first half from a year earlier, said it saw “continued pressure” on reinsurance prices, with rates down 6.4 percent on average.

‘Compelling Strategy’

U.S. and international catastrophe rates fell by an average of 8.5 percent and 10 percent respectively, the statement showed. In Amlin’s marine and aviation business, rates tumbled 17 percent for energy insurance and 5.9 percent for liability.

“We have a compelling strategy and have the ability to fly as a standalone business,” said Philipps, who completed a restructure of the business in 2014 and is looking at other markets for growth including the Middle East. “We do not see urgent need to partner or team up with anybody else.”

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