Watford Holdings debuts on Nasdaq
Bermudian reinsurer Watford Holdings Ltd started trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange today.
Existing shareholders of the company, which was founded by Bermudian re/insurer Arch Capital five years ago, were aiming to sell 3.59 million shares in an offering to the public.
The company itself was not to receive any proceeds from the offering.
Watford was formed in January 2014 and had capital of about $1.1 billion as of the end of last year.
It has an outsourced business model, partnering with Arch on the underwriting side, while its investments are overseen by HPS Investment Partners, a New York-based credit investment platform that manages about $47 billion in assets.
Arch Re still owns 14.7 per cent of Watford, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
No target price for the offering was set. Watford made a net loss of $54.5 million in 2018. Book value at the end of 2018 was $39.22 per share.
Trading under the ticker symbol “WTRE”, the company closed on $27 on the trading of 129,131 shares in New York, up 6.9 per cent from its opening price of $25.26, according to Nasdaq data.
John Rathgeber, Watford's CEO, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Watford. Listing the company on the Nasdaq achieves the objective of providing a liquidity mechanism for our existing shareholders; it will allow us to diversify our investor base; and it will give us access to the public capital markets when we need to finance our growth.”
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