QBE agrees to acquire NAU Country Insurance Co.

Friday, April 16, 2010

(New York, NY) - QBE today announced that it has agreed to acquire NAU Country Insurance Co., a leading writer of crop insurance business based in Ramsey, Minnesota. Completion is expected in July 2010, subject to regulatory approvals.

The acquisition supports QBE's commitment to growing the business through product diversification and new distribution channels. It also strengthens its position as a leading insurer in the United States. QBE the Americas is one of the top 25 property and casualty insurers in the U.S., with $4 billion in gross written premium in 2009 and following this acquisition being completed, an estimated GWP of more than $5 billion in 2010.

In 2009, NAU wrote $976 million of gross earned premium. Net earned premium was $354 million and profit after tax was $92.5 million. The combined operating ratio-that is the ratio of claims, commissions and expenses to net earned premium-was 61.3% in 2009, 87.3% in 2008 and 62.6% in 2007.

NAU is the nation's third largest writer of Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), a U.S.Department of Agriculture program that provides protection against weather-related and other unavoidable causes of crop loss. The company operates ten offices across the U.S. and has over 1,600 independent agents.

QBE Americas' Chief Executive Officer, John Rumpler, says the acquisition will complement QBE's agricultural book of business. "NAU has the expertise and knowledge to accommodate a very diverse range of crops and meet the unique insurance requirements of growers."

QBE Group CEO Frank O'Halloran sees NAU as a good fit with a focus on superior customer service."We look forward to providing the financial foundation and overall strategic vision that will allow NAU to do what it does best-providing innovative solutions for customers."

QBE Insurance Group Limited is one of the top 25 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 45 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The Americas Division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through various property and casualty insurance subsidiaries in eight countries. QBE's Americas Division produced $4 billion in gross written premium in 2009 and an 89.7% combined operating ratio. QBE Insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard and Poor's. For more information, visit qbe.com.