Freshfields and Mishcon advise as Japan insurer agrees to sell British unit for $952m

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mishcon de Reya are advising as Japanese insurer Sompo Holdings agrees to sell its British unit Sompo Canopius for $952m (£735m).

Sompo, one of Japan’s biggest property and casualty insurers, is selling the business to a private equity consortium led by Centerbridge Partners. It first bought Canopius, a specialist Lloyd’s insurance market company with premium income of $1.6bn (£1.2bn), in 2014.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval.

Mishcon is advising Sompo, with a team led by City corporate partner Jonathan Berman and City corporate legal director Laura Chandler.

Freshfields is acting for Centerbridge with a team co-led by London corporate insurance partner George Swan and senior associate Keir MacLennan.

The magic circle firm is currently advising international private equity firm Cinven on the £2.4bn sale of legal process outsourcer CPA Global to US private equity firm Leonard Green Partners.

In July, Freshfields co-managing partner Chris Pugh left the firm’s management team and returned to fee earning after little more than 18 months in the role.

The management overhaul followed a fall of 1% in net profit, down to £612m, alongside a marginal increase of 0.3% in revenue, rising to £1.33bn. Freshfield’s performance saw Linklaters edge ahead of it by both revenue and PEP.

Other major insurance plays this year include German insurance giant Allianz’s joint venture deal with LV=, formerly known as Liverpool Victoria.

Clifford Chance (CC) is advising LV=, while Allen & Overy (A&O) is acting for Allianz.