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Fairfax Financial to buy Brit Insurance Ltd. for $300-million

Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial.

Jim Ross/The Globe and Mail

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is buying Brit Insurance Ltd. of London from Brit Group for about $300-million (U.S.).

Toronto-based Fairfax said Monday that the acquisition by its RiverStone subsidiary will be funded by internal resources at RiverStone.

As of March 31, BIL had net reserves of $1.3-billion and cash and invested assets of $1.9-billion.

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Fairfax put BIL's book value at about $530-million.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012. Brit wrote U.K. domestic, as well as some international, insurance and reinsurance before being placed into runoff earlier this year.

"We think that this is an excellent acquisition by Nick Bentley and his experienced team at RiverStone," said Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa.

Fairfax is a financial services holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Fairfax shares were up two cents at $390.04.

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