Japan insurer Sompo to sell British unit Canopius for $952 million

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese insurer Sompo Holdings Inc 8630.T said on Friday it has agreed to sell British unit Sompo Canopius to private equity consortium led by Centerbridge Partners for $952 million.

Sompo, one of Japan’s three-biggest property and casualty insurers, bought Canopius, a Lloyd’s of London insurance market player, for about $1 billion in 2014.

Sompo has been reviewing its overseas business portfolio after completing the $6.3 billion purchase of U.S. property and casualty insurer Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd earlier this year.

In a statement, Sompo said the sale is likely to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

The insurer said it would use sale proceeds for its growth strategy, which could include overseas acquisitions.

Sompo said Macquarie Capital and GC Securities were its financial advisors and Mishcon de Reya LLP was its legal advisor.

Centerbridge said Royal Bank of Canada acted as its financial advisor and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP as legal advisor.

(This version of the story corrects to PE consortium, not firm, in first paragraph)

Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Himani Sarkar