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Financial News

Dec 2009 Financial News

Guardian Holdings Limited – Sale of European Motor Insurance Companies

Dec 31, 2009

The following press releases were received from Guardian Holdings Limited and Markerstudy Holdings:

Guardian Holdings Limited

Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) announces the sale and disposal of its Gibraltar based insurance carrier, Zenith Insurance, and its UK based insurance service company, GHL Insurance Services UK Limited.

The sale, which is in keeping with prior shareholder communication, was finalized between the parties on December 31st, 2009, and is subject to regulatory approval. Such approval is anticipated within the next 30-60 days.

Given the past performance of this business, current consideration is nominal, however the Group has the possibility of sharing in future profits over the next four years. Any such future consideration will have a positive effect on the Group's profit and loss position.

This move is part of the Group's overall strategy to shed non-performing businesses and reduce operating costs so as to deliver sustainable, quality earnings to its shareholders.

The two companies are being sold to MarkerStudy Holdings, a Gibraltar based insurance company. MarkerStudy has several years of experience operating in the UK motor business and the company views the acquisition as part of its overall strategy to expand its business platform so as to compete with the larger British insurers.

Markerstudy Holdings

Markerstudy Holdings is delighted to announce the acquisition of Zenith Insurance plc, incorporating the UK service company GHL Insurance Services Ltd, from Guardian Holdings Ltd. With a £300m GWP target for 2010, to include acquisitions and organic growth, this latest purchase secures for Markerstudy Group £140m GWP. Kevin Spencer, Group CEO, comments "2010 will undoubtedly be an exhilarating year for us.Our intention is to operate both insurers separately, maintaining both brands. We believe in the vibrant UK retail sector and anticipate extending as much support to our broker clients as we have since 2001. Zenith provides us with another powerful weapon in our armoury and will enable us to compete with the larger insurers in the UK". Jeff Mack, Group CEO of Guardian Holdings Ltd, states that "the disposal of Zenith Insurance and GHL Insurance Services Ltd. is consistent with the Group's strategy of divesting noncore businesses allowing the Group to focus on its main insurance operations including its investments at Lloyd's." Formed in 2001, Markerstudy was the first insurer established in Gibraltar passporting into the UK. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval from both the FSC in Gibraltar and the FSA in the UK. Aon Benfield Securities Limited acted as financial adviser to Markerstudy on the transaction. KPMG Corporate Finance acted as financial adviser to Guardian Holdings Ltd.


Source:
The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited
Thursday December 31, 2009