The backers of Barbican Insurance have launched a fresh indicative takeover bid for rival Omega Insurance, calling on it to begin talks to create a “merger of equals” between the two Lloyd’s underwriters. The FT says in a letter dated Thursday to Omega’s directors, obtained by the newspaper, Carlson Capital – the Texan hedge fund behind Barbican – sought to ratchet up the pressure on the target’s board. Omega declined to comment. People familiar with the approach from Carlson, which is also a top 10 shareholder in Omega with a 5.5 per cent stake, said that at present it would value the London-listed company’s equity at about £180m. Its share value at market close on Thursday gives a market capitalisation of £118m. The approach comes after a long-running battle for control of Omega involving various suitors ended without a deal. Read more
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