Australia's QBE acquires US insurance firm for $565 million

One of Australia's leading insurance providers QBE Insurance Group Limited (QBE) said Friday that the company has agreed to acquire US crop insurer NAU Country Insurance Company (NAU) for a purchase price of $565 million.

NAU is a leading underwriter and manager of multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) business in the US.

The net tangible assets acquired will be $217 million, QBE said in an announcement sent to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Sydney-based QBE is one of the top 25 insurance companies in the world with a presence in 47 countries including the US, and employs over 13,000 people.

The group has grown its insurance and reinsurance businesses substantially thorough numerous acquisitions, especially over the past 10 years.

The group's gross revenue was $15.4 billion in 2009 with a net profit of $1.82 billion.

QBE's chief executive officer Frank O'Halloran said: ''The acquisition is in line with QBE's long-term strategy of acquiring specialist businesses to further enhance our significant product diversification and distribution.''