Notice today? Harleysville Group, a P&C company was bought out at just over 2 times BOOK! Stock is up 85%!
Also notice that Buffet made a bid for TransAtlantic Re.....but he held fiirm on price and backed off. So Buffet was looking around.
WTMis a good fit now for Buffet. All of WTM's reinsurance is now consolidated under one name and roof - Sirius Int'l. Siruis does a lot of business overseas. Both WTM and OB are large customers of Buffet already. Buffet and WTM both own about 25% of SYA. If Buffet took WTM. ,he'd own over 50%. SYA trades at a MERE 40% of book value!
WTM exited esurance, so no GEICO competition. And OB just exited autos! So no geico com[etition. OB is now transformed to a group of smallish very specialty insurers. All Buffet has to do is put his name on all these smaller specialty insurers, saying "A Berkshire Hataway Company".and their business takes off! Buffet takes WTM, he gets publically traded 76% stake in OB.
I doubt it will happen, but who knows. Mgmt owns 12% of WTM. And they know ell that the 15% LT gains tax is gone at end of 2012.