Catalina shelves sale of Asia Capital Re
Legacy firm Catalina has pulled the sale of Singapore-based Asia Capital Re (ACR) after judging that bids did not meet its reserve price, this publication can reveal.
Sources said Catalina has opted to retain the business, and may look to remarket the business in two to three years when it has run the portfolio off further and repatriated excess capital from Hong Kong and Malaysia.
This publication revealed in May that Catalina had retained Macquarie to advise on the sale of ACR, and its Irish business.
The decision to pursue the divestitures reflected Catalina’s intent to reduce its footprint to improve efficiency and free up capital to redeploy into life deals.
In February, top-five legacy carrier Catalina refocused its business model towards life run-off deals, as backer Apollo sought a better risk/reward profile.
Catalina has not entirely withdrawn from the P&C run-off market, but is no longer participating in processes, and is instead focused on bilateral and repeat deals with prior counterparties. Over time the balance of the portfolio is expected to migrate towards life where Apollo – via Athene and Athora – has significant expertise and deal origination capability.
Catalina acquired ACR in a buy-to-kill transaction for a consideration of around $600mn in 2019, with Enstar the underbidder.
When ACR is brought back to the market, Catalina is again likely to argue that it can be a platform to source Asian deals, which some in the market believe will ultimately be a source of significant deal-flow.
In September, Catalina struck a deal to sell Catalina Insurance Ireland to RiverStone International.
The business is run by Brian Myles and includes a loss portfolio transfer for Zurich’s German medical malpractice book, and the Quinn motor deal, it is understood. The former has developed unfavourably, but the latter has generated significant profits.
Catalina has already made moves to simplify its corporate structure and slim down its footprint by selling its Swiss entity to Swiss Re last year.
Catalina declined to comment.