AmTrust take-private clears regulatory hurdles

Almost 11 months after the plan became public, the Karfunkel-Zyskind family and Stone Point Capital are poised to complete their buyout of the outstanding 45 percent of AmTrust. 

The deal, which values AmTrust’s common equity at $2.95bn, had by yesterday received all the necessary regulatory approvals. 

AmTrust shareholders cleared the bid at a meeting on 21 June.  

Following the close of the deal, which is expected tomorrow, AmTrust shares will stop trading on the Nasdaq and the company will be delisted. The offer values AmTrust stock at $14.75. The shares closed yesterday at $13.99. 

AmTrust shares on Nasdaq were up 5.5 percent, trading at $14.76 as of 10:38 local time.

The bid partners first posited the buyout in January, at a price of $12.25 per share. 

A special committee in March agreed to back an offer of $13.50 per share, before intervention from Carl Icahn resulted in a June pact that boosted the price by more than 9 percent to $14.75 per share. However, Prague fund Arca Capital continued its public fight against the terms. 

In July, alternative asset management firm Madison Dearborn and Bermudian insurance group Enstar agreed to invest $350mn in the transaction, in exchange for minority holdings.  

AmTrust has had a tempestuous relationship with the public markets and the firm has been subject to attention from regulators.  

In March 2017, the company said accounts from 2014 to 2016 “could no longer be relied upon”. 

In April that year, AmTrust lost $848mn in stock market value in one day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI had been looking into the insurer’s accounting practices