Canadian Underwriter

Hub to purchase Near North brokerage operations

July 25, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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Hub International Ltd. (NYSE, TSX: HBG) has signed a proposal to acquire the brokerage operation assets of Chicago-based Near North National Group.
Near North has been in talks to sell off its assets concurrent with the indictment for federal fraud charges against the company and its former CEO Michael Segal,
No terms of the current purchase have been released, but Hub says the total purchase price will be paid on the basis of future revenues from the acquired assets. The purchase will only proceed after further due diligence and negotiation of a definitive agreement.
Originally, Chicago-based private equity firm Frontenac Co. LLC had signed an agreement to purchase most of Near North’s assets, but later withdrew the offer.
Now Hub, also based in Chicago, is stepping up to plate to purchase the brokerage operation, including relationships with Near North’s customers and insurance partners.
“We are pleased to announce the proposal to purchase the insurance brokerage operations of Near North, a premier brokerage organization,” says Hub chairman and CEO Martin P. Hughes. “The acquisition of Near North would add numerous specialty lines of business to our operations serving a vast number of industries and add to our employee base with the services of an accomplished group of professionals who strive to provide their clients with high-quality, responsive brokerage services.”
Near North’s board has approved the proposal to purchase. Fred Foreman, chairman of the board, says, “We are very positive about aligning ourselves with Hub International. Over the past few years Hub has demonstrated tremendous expansion and an infallible strategy toward operating as a premier insurance brokerage. Near North’s management, employees as well as our insurance partners including AIG and Fireman’s Fund are supportive of this alliance.”

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