Stephen L. Way, chairman and CEO of Houston-based HCC Insurance Holdings Inc., announced that HCC reached an agreement to acquire Surety Associates Holding Co. Inc. and their subsidiary American Contractors Indemnity Company (ACIC), a surety company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the next few weeks.
Acquired in 1990 by Skipper G. Baumgarten, ACIC grew to be a market leader providing court, specialty contract, license and permit bonds. Regrettably, Baumgarten was permanently disabled by a stroke suffered in July 2001 and consequently the company is now being sold.
Non-executive Chairman Bill LeVine and current management, led by CEO Robert F. Thomas, have guided the company very well during this difficult time.
Bob Thomas, formerly with reinsurance broker E.W. Blanch, will continue to oversee operations following the acquisition. Lee Back (fiduciary and judicial bonds), who has been with ACIC for eight years, and Scott Anschultz (bail bonds), who has been with the company for nine years, will continue to be part of the stable and experienced underwriting team at ACIC. Stephen T. Pate, formerly president of Western Surety Company (CNA Surety) and with over twenty-five years of surety experience, will join the company in early January to oversee the contract and commercial surety division.
John Knox, Jr., CEO of Houston based SureTec Financial Corp. (www.suretec.com), will become chairman of the Board. Knox formed SureTec in 2000 and previously founded Universal Surety of America in 1983, which he continued to manage until 1998, following its sale to Capsure (CNA Surety) in 1994. SureTec, in which HCC has a minority interest, will participate in ACIC’s operations through a quota share reinsurance arrangement.
HCC estimated ACIC’s gross written premium to be more than $50 million in 2004. For more information, visit the ACIC Web site at www.acicbond.com.
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