Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFH) (“Atlas”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Global Liberty Insurance Company of New York along with its affiliated underwriting and premium finance companies (“Global Liberty”) for approximately $25 million. This transaction is expected to significantly accelerate Atlas’ commercial automobile presence in select sub-segments of the large New York livery market and will add valuable infrastructure on the East Coast to support Atlas’ continuing growth.
Founded in 2003, Global Liberty’s principal business is in the light commercial auto sector, principally insuring limousine, black car, and luxury car vehicles. The company is based in Melville, New York and is an admitted carrier in 14 states. Global Liberty currently underwrites approximately $40 million of annual commercial auto direct written premiums with the majority of this business generated in the New York metro area and is expected to have approximately $19.5 million of GAAP book value at closing. Estimated annual pre-tax income generated by the businesses to be acquired is approximately $4 million on a pro-forma basis.
The founder of Global Liberty, Mr. Hossni Elhelbawi, has been committed to serving the insurance needs of the public for more than 25 years. He built an exceptional business based on his expertise and extensive knowledge of the specialty markets that Global Liberty serves. Under Atlas’ ownership, the best practices Global Liberty utilizes to service and support the company’s policy holders and producers will continue going forward.
Scott D. Wollney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas, stated, "This is a very important acquisition for Atlas, as Global Liberty’s current premium base is highly complementary to our existing infrastructure. As with our other subsidiaries, Global Liberty has a strong heritage in the public auto market with a committed and experienced management team. This transaction is expected to greatly accelerate our ability to grow to proportionate share in the largest light commercial vehicle market in the country. Based on the size and nature of the New York market, we plan to maintain Global Liberty’s local infrastructure on Long Island and have the location serve as an East Coast regional office for Atlas.”
Upon the closing of the transaction, Atlas will continue to manage Global Liberty’s public auto insurance business utilizing its best practices and intends to provide a seamless transition for existing Global Liberty customers and agents. Atlas intends to continue to distribute products under the current brand name emphasizing the complementary nature of these products relative to those offered by Atlas’ other insurance subsidiaries. The addition of Global Liberty’s New York based team will provide additional incremental value to Atlas as well.
Hossni Elhelbawi, Chief Executive Officer and owner of Global Liberty commented, “We are delighted to join with Atlas to expand and continue to deliver the quality of service and products to our insurance policyholders and agents.”