1. News Articles
  2. Related News Articles
News Article Details

Markel to Buy Aspen, Add Workers Compensation Sales

Posted on 15 Jul 2010

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Google

Markel Corp., the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer, will spend at least $135 million to acquire closely held Aspen Holdings Inc. to add sales of workers’ compensation coverage for small businesses.

Aspen, which does business as FirstComp, will operate as a separate business unit, Markel said today in a statement distributed by PR Newswire. Its shareholders will receive cash payments of $135 million plus stock option value, Markel said.

Markel is betting on a rebound in workers’ compensation insurance as it targets smaller markets. Rates for commercial property and casualty coverage declined 5.3 percent in the first quarter after a 5.6 decline in the prior period, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers said in an April report.

“Aspen’s workers’ compensation expertise can be brought to bear to service current Markel customers,” said Mike Crowley, Markel’s president and co-chief operating officer, in the statement.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., the Canadian insurer run by Prem Watsa, purchased Zenith National Insurance Corp. earlier this year for about $1.3 billion in cash, adding workers’ compensation sales in California.