National Interstate Surges on American Financial Buyout Bid

  • Shares jump most since February 2014 on purchase announcement
  • American Financial offers to buy shares at $30 apiece

National Interstate Corp. jumped the most in more than two years after American Financial Group Inc. proposed to buy all of the insurer’s outstanding common shares that it doesn’t already own.

National Interstate rose 31 percent to $29.67 at 9:52 a.m. in New York, the most since February 2014, erasing the Richfield, Ohio-based company’s losses this year. American Financial offered to buy the shares for $30 apiece, according to a statement Monday.

The bid represents a 32.7 percent premium over National Interstate’s last closing price, and American Financial valued the deal at about $293 million. American Financial expects National Interstate will form a committee to evaluate the offer, and won’t proceed with the deal unless the panel approves, according to the statement. The takeover won’t need financing, American Financial said.

“Our proposal represents an attractive opportunity for National Interstate’s shareholders to receive a significant premium to National Interstate’s current and recent share prices,” Carl Lindner and S. Craig Lindner, co-chief executive officers of American Financial, said in the statement.

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