April Group said that the deal is part of its development strategy to refocus on brokerage across five key markets


Image: Watford acquires to acquire French insurer. Photo: Courtesy of Adam Radosavljevic/Pixabay.

Bermuda-based insurance services provider Watford has agreed to acquire 100% of Axeria IARD, a French property and casualty insurance company, from April Group, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be closed in the second quarter of next year. Headquartered in Lyon, France, Axeria IARD is a risk-carrying subsidiary of April Group, that specialises in property and casualty insurance.

Axeria IARD has gross premiums written of $154.9m

The firm has branches in Lille and Bordeaux and is active in the French and EU commercial property and casualty insurance market with gross premiums written of nearly €140m ($154.9m).

April Group, the parent company of Axeria IARD, stated that the deal is in line with its new development strategy, to refocus around brokerage across five key markets including individual health and personal protection, professionals and VSEs, loan insurance, international health and property and casualty niches.

Watford CEO John Rathgeber said: “This transaction represents another significant milestone in the build-out of our insurance business. Consistent with our business model, Watford will work closely with our underwriting manager, Arch, to enable Axeria IARD to grow its existing business in France, as well as to develop new insurance business opportunities throughout the European Union.

“We are extremely pleased to acquire such a quality company and look forward to working with Axeria management to quickly integrate Axeria IARD into Watford while continuing to meet the needs of Axeria IARD clients and further enhance Watford shareholder value.”

Watford is a Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer, with nearly $1.2bn in capital as of this September. The company has operations in Bermuda, the US and Europe.

Few days ago, April Group had sold its April International Voyage, a French subsidiary specialised in travel insurance, to its current managers Matthieu Drouet, CEO and Jean-Philippe Lardennois, deputy CEO.