CHICAGO, June 23, 2009 – GTCR, one of the nation’s leading private equity firms, today announced it has agreed to invest $200 million in Ironshore Inc., a leading specialty insurance company. GTCR will serve as lead investor in this financing that will involve a number of existing investors and will collectively provide the company with up to $300 million in new equity. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
The investment by GTCR will facilitate Ironshore’s growth strategy as the company continues to expand its footprint and product offerings as a preeminent specialty insurance company. Industry veteran Kevin H. Kelley joined Ironshore as CEO in December 2008 and subsequently hired several established leaders from across the specialty insurance sector. This enabled the company to enter new, attractive lines of business. Prior to joining Ironshore, Mr. Kelley spent over twenty years as the CEO of Lexington Insurance (a subsidiary of AIG), the nation’s largest excess and surplus insurance company. He intends to use the additional capital to support the continued expansion of Ironshore’s specialty insurance business.
Mr. Kelley commented, “This private placement gives us additional capital to support our strategic growth plans, which have accelerated in recent months as we enter into a number of new specialty lines. We are grateful to receive financial support from GTCR, as well as from our existing investors. GTCR has a long and successful track record of partnering with management teams to build industry-leading companies.”
Founded in early 2007, Ironshore executed its plan to develop into a leading, diversified specialty insurance company. Since the company’s founding, Ironshore has added a number of senior business leaders. Ironshore currently operates as a diversified, specialty insurance carrier with operations in Bermuda, the United States and the United Kingdom. Ironshore underwrites professional liability, medical malpractice, environmental, property liability and casualty business from offices throughout the United States. Ironshore also writes property catastrophe and property all-risk coverage for small to mid-sized commercial risks through its headquarters in Bermuda. In London, specialty coverages are underwritten at Lloyd’s through Ironshore’s Pembroke Syndicate.
“We are enthusiastic about working closely with Kevin and his team, one of the industry’s most talented and proven teams, to help accelerate profitable growth at Ironshore,” said Aaron Cohen, Vice President at GTCR. “This opportunity aligns well with GTCR’s successful, long-standing investment philosophy of partnering with exceptional management teams to build leading companies in growing industries.”
“The insurance industry has been an area of focus for GTCR within our broader financial services practice,” added David Donnini, Principal at GTCR. “In particular, specialty insurance represents one of the most compelling areas of the property and casualty insurance industry, and Kevin’s track record stands out within this sector. The company’s exceptional leadership team, combined with its attractive growth prospects, make it a compelling investment and an excellent opportunity for GTCR.”
Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller acted as exclusive financial advisor to GTCR in connection with the transaction, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel. Merrill Lynch & Co. and Aon Benfield Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisors to Ironshore, and Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP provided legal counsel.
Ironshore provides broker-sourced specialty commercial property and casualty coverages for risks located throughout the world. Through its platform in Bermuda, including Iron-Starr Excess, Ironshore writes property and excess casualty insurance for commercial risks. Ironshore’s US operations write commercial property and casualty insurance, including a variety of coverages in the Management & Professional Liability, Healthcare Liability, Construction and Environmental specialty areas. Specialty coverages are underwritten at Lloyd’s through Ironshore’s Pembroke Syndicate 4000. The Ironshore group of insurance companies is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best with a Financial Size Category of Class XI. Syndicate 4000 operates within Lloyd’s where the market rating is A (Excellent) by A.M. Best and A+ (Strong) from both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. For more information, please visit www.ironshore.com.
Founded in 1980, GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC is a private equity investment firm and long-term strategic partner for outstanding management teams. The Chicago-based firm pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with exceptional executives to acquire and build companies through a combination of acquisitions and strong internal growth. GTCR currently manages more than $8 billion of equity capital invested in a wide range of companies and industries. More information about GTCR can be found at www.gtcr.com.