QBE Insurance Group announced an agreement to acquire the U.S. insurance operations of Renaissance Re, which include a U.S. crop and small specialist program insurance business. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, and completion is expected in March 2011.  

QBE announced that the purchase price is expected to be around US$275 million, with net tangible assets acquired of approximately US$215 million. The acquisition will be funded from QBE's existing resources.  

The business acquired is expected to generate over US$350 million of gross written premium in 2011 and net profit after tax of over US$30 million, QBE says.

"The acquisition is in line with our strategy of acquiring specialist businesses to further enhance our product diversification and distribution," says Frank O'Halloran, QBE's CEO. "The acquisition is complementary to the NAU crop insurance business announced in June this year. The acquisition is expected to be earnings per share accretive in year one, subject to the usual caveats."

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