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Prem Watsa's Fairfax to invest €70m in insurer FBD Holdings


Financier Prem Watsa

Financier Prem Watsa


Financier Prem Watsa

Billionaire Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial is to invest €70m in FBD's 7pc ten-year bond.

Mr Watsa, who along with Wilbur Ross made a fortune after investing in Bank of Ireland during the crash, said his company has "been a long-standing follower of FBD and its deserved reputation as a leader in the farm insurance sector in Ireland."

"This investment underlines our belief in the strength of Ireland's on-going economic recovery and in FBD's core franchise in the farming and agri-business sectors," he said.

In Dublin FBD shares leapt around 10pc after the announcement. FBD interim chief executive Fiona Muldoon (inset) called the investment a "significant vote of confidence" in the company, which recently announced it lost €96m before tax in the first half of the year. Andrew

"I am confident that the completion of this transaction helps our business plan with our core farming and small business customers and with our consumer customers also. It underpins the Board's strong commitment to maintain healthy capital buffers as we prepare for the implementation of Solvency II," Ms Muldoon said.

The transaction is subject to approval by FBD's shareholders.

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