Arch & Watford: Revised Merger Agreement

November 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

Arch Capital Group and Watford Holdings today [Nov 2] announced a revised definitive agreement under which Arch will acquire all of the common shares of Watford for an increased price of $35.00 per share.

A spokesperson said, “This revised all-cash consideration is valued at approximately $700 million and represents a premium of approximately 96% to Watford’s unaffected closing common share price on September 8, 2020, the last trading day prior to media reports about the possibility of a transaction between Watford and Arch. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021 and remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approval.

“Following this announcement, Arch will assign its interests and obligations under the merger agreement to a newly formed entity of which Arch will own approximately 40%, and funds managed by Warburg Pincus LLC and Kelso & Company will each own approximately 30%.”

“We continue to believe in the merits of this compelling opportunity and are pleased to be making this revised offer,” said Marc Grandisson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arch.

“The increased premium and the addition of Warburg Pincus and Kelso as active investment partners will position Watford to capitalize on its significant value generation potential while ensuring continuity of service for all policyholders.”

“This transaction delivers an attractive premium to our shareholders, and offers Watford the opportunity to fulfill its potential as a private company,” said Jon Levy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Watford.

“This is a significant milestone for us, both in our pursuit of shareholder value as well as for our strategic growth plans. We look forward to deepening our longtime relationship with Arch, and collaborating with our new partners, Kelso and Warburg Pincus.”

Dan Zilberman, Managing Director and Executive Management Group member at Warburg Pincus, added, “We were a founding investor in Arch in 2001 and have followed the company’s development closely since our investment. We are excited to partner once again with Arch’s talented management team in a new endeavor.

“Arch has a compelling plan in place to enable Watford’s continued performance for its policyholders and trading partners. We are excited to participate in this plan, and believe that we can be a value added partner by applying our operating and industry resources to enhance Watford’s inherent value proposition.”

Chris Collins, Managing Director of Kelso, said, “We have a successful history of partnering with Arch and are excited to be joining them in the acquisition of Watford. Watford is a strong platform, and we believe that Arch is uniquely qualified to augment its position with its clients and counterparties. We look forward to leveraging our industry expertise and capabilities to support Watford in its next phase of growth.”

The company added, “The agreement requires approval by holders of a majority of Watford’s outstanding shares. The independent members of Watford’s Board of Directors have unanimously approved the revised agreement and recommended that Watford’s shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

“Arch owns approximately 13% of Watford’s outstanding shares, and Arch’s directors and executive officers own approximately 2% of Watford’s outstanding shares. In addition, Enstar Group Limited, which holds 9.1% of Watford common shares, has entered into a voting support agreement with Watford and Arch pursuant to which it has committed to vote all of its Watford shares in favor of the transaction.

“Goldman Sachs is acting as financial advisor to Arch, and Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is serving as the Company’s legal advisor. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to Watford, and Clifford Chance US LLP is serving as Watford’s legal advisor. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal advisor to Warburg Pincus and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal advisor to Kelso.”

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