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Hanseatica looking for run-off buyer

German run-off insurer Hanseatica is seeking a buyer for its small remaining book of business, The Insurance Insider understands.

Hanseatica's portfolio has around EUR40mn in total assets and about EUR10mn of technical liabilities left in its portfolio, according to its 2011 accounts.

The insurer has been in run-off since 2001. Before then it wrote a diversified book of business including third party liability, aviation, motor, credit, marine, engineering and personal accident insurance.

The company is owned by Jose de Mello, a Portuguese conglomerate. It is understood the process is being run by the parent company directly, without the use of an intermediary.

The company still has seven employees and has made loss on a technical and non-technical basis for the past several years.

Given the length of time of the run-off and the small size of the remaining liabilities, sources have described Hanseatica as a typical end-of-life run-off, where sometimes a small amount of liabilities can be hard to extinguish.

This leaves the undesirable prospect of having to staff an insurer for many decades without any incomes if the liabilities are long-tail and no run-off solution to provide certainty and finality is found.

Hanseatica has shareholder equity of EUR20mn - twice the size of its book of business. However, the sale process could be complicated by a EUR23mn loan made to parent company Jose de Mello, according to sources.

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