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Benfield sells Lancashire stake

Benfield Group has gained $19.5mn from the sale of its "Class of 2005" reinsurer Lancashire Holdings last week.

The reinsurance broker had received warrants to subscribe for seven and half million Lancashire shares as part of its role in establishing the company.

Grahame Chilton, CEO of Benfield, commented: "Lancashire has almost completed its first full year of operations and we are delighted to have been associated with establishing such a successful Bermudian insurer. In line with our policy of retaining a focus on our core intermediary business, we have now taken this opportunity to sell our holding."

The warrants have been sold to JP Morgan Securities Ltd.

Over recent years Benfield has supported several (re)insurance start-ups by investing at conception, including Montpelier Re in 2001, Glacier Re in 2004 and Starbound Re earlier this year.

In a statement Benfield said: "Our investment in these underwriting entities reflects our commitment to creating capacity where it is needed by Benfield customers while making investments which can generate a good return for shareholders. However it is not our strategy to hold long-term investments in underwriting entities."

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