HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- White Mountains
Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) announced today that it has acquired a 42%
stake in Answer Financial Inc.'s outstanding debt and equity for $30 million.
In conjunction with this transaction, Answer Financial will be completing a
Answer Financial, headquartered in Encino, California, is one of the
nation's largest online personal insurance agencies, with more than 275,000
policies in-force. Answer Financial, through its wholly owned subsidiary
Insurance Answer Center, LLC, offers consumers in all 50 states the ability to
compare quotes for automobile and homeowners insurance and purchase coverage
from multiple insurance carriers. Consumers transact with Answer Financial
either online or over the telephone. Answer Financial markets its products
through financial institutions, affinity groups, large employers, other
business partners, and the Answer Financial Website (www.answerfinancial.com).
Ray Barrette, CEO of White Mountains commented, "We believe that online
insurance distribution channels will continue to grow in importance. Answer
Financial's agency platform is a nice complement to Esurance. We are excited
to invest in a renewed Answer Financial, further building on our success at
White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company
traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the
symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are
available at the Company's web site located at http://www.whitemountains.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
This press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of
historical facts, included or referenced in this release which address
activities, events or developments which we expect or anticipate will or may
occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The words "will,"
"believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "predict"
and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others,
statements with respect to White Mountains':
X growth in book value per share or return on equity;
X business strategy;
X financial and operating targets or plans;
X incurred losses and the adequacy of its loss and loss adjustment expense
reserves and related reinsurance;
X projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) per share,
dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;
X expansion and growth of our business and operations; and
X future capital expenditures.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by
White Mountains in light of its experience and perception of historical
trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other
factors believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. However, whether
actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and
predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from expectations, including:
X the risks associated with Item 1A of White Mountains' 2006 Annual Report
on Form 10-K;
X claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes,
earthquakes, floods or terrorist attacks;
X the continued availability of capital and financing;
X general economic, market or business conditions;
X business opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to it and
X competitive forces, including the conduct of other property and casualty
insurers and reinsurers;
X changes in domestic or foreign laws or regulations, or their
interpretation, applicable to White Mountains, its competitors or its
X an economic downturn or other economic conditions adversely affecting
its financial position;
X recorded loss reserves subsequently proving to have been inadequate;
X other factors, most of which are beyond White Mountains' control.
Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this press
release are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no
assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by White
Mountains will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will
have the expected consequences to, or effects on, White Mountains or its
business or operations. White Mountains assumes no obligation to publicly
update any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: David Foy
SOURCE White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.
/CONTACT: David Foy of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.,
/Web site: http://www.whitemountains.com
CO: White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.; Answer Financial Inc.
ST: Bermuda, California
IN: FIN INS
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0298 01/22/2008 08:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com