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Fairfax buys run-off French reinsurer


January 12, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter


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Fairfax Financial Holdings is buying a French reinsurance operation which was placed in run-off last November.
Fairfax’s Compagnie Transcontinentale de Reassurance Holding (CTRH) has purchased Markel Corp.’s Corifrance (Compagnie de Reassurance d’Ile-de-France) and its French holding company, Terra Nova SAS.
Fairfax is paying EUR44 million (Cdn$70 million), with CTRH receiving a reserve indemnity capped at the purchase price. At the end of the third quarter of 2004, Corifrance had EUR38 million (Cdn$60.5 million) in gross claims reserves. Fairfax’s intention is to merge Corifrance into its European run-off operation, Riverstone Insurance UK.
Corifrance and its holding company held assets of EUR137 million (Cdn$218 million) at the end of the third quarter, 2004, and prior to being placed in run-off, Corifrance wrote net premiums of EUR21 million (Cdn$33.5 million) in 2003, on a global, diversified book of business.