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British insurer Hastings agrees to $2.2 bln buyout offer

British motor insurer Hastings agreed a 1.66 billion pounds ($2.17 billion) takeover by Finland's Sampo and South Africa's Rand Merchant Investment (RMI), the companies said on Wednesday.

Adds details from statement, Hastings' results

HELSINKI, Aug 5 (Reuters) - British motor insurer Hastings HSTG.L agreed a 1.66 billion pounds ($2.17 billion) takeover by Finland's Sampo SAMPO.HE and South Africa's Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) RMIJ.J, the companies said on Wednesday.

The deal was signed with investment vehicle Dorset Bidco Ltd and offers 250 pence a share to Hastings' investors, alongside an interim dividend of 4.5 pence a share.

Sampo wants to expand into non-life insurance and beyond Nordic markets, it said in a statement, explaining its interest in Hastings. RMI Group has owned 30% of Hastings since 2017, Sampo said.

The terms of the offer, excluding the dividend, represent a 47.1% premium to Hastings' 170 pence closing share price on July 28, the last trading day before Hastings flagged an approach.

After the deal is completed, Main Street, an entity owned by RMI and its unit OUTsurance, will hold a 30% stake in Hastings, while Sampo will have a 70% holding.

Alongside the deal, Hastings also reported a 31% jump in first-half adjusted operating profit to 78.3 million pounds driven by strong policy growth and a fall in motor claims as Britons drove less due to the coronavirus restrictions.

($1 = 0.8468 euros)

($1 = 0.7646 pounds)

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen and Muvija M, editing by Louise Heavens and Sinead Cruise)

((anne.kauranen@thomsonreuters.com; +358925166112;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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