What to Do With Northbridge

Article Excerpt

NORTHBRIDGE FINANCIAL CORP. $38.80 (Toronto symbol NB; SI Rating: Speculative) (416-366-9544; no web site; Shares outstanding: 47.7 million; Market cap: $1.9 billion) jumped over 25% recently after Fairfax Financial Holdings, symbol FFH on Toronto announced that it will make an offer to acquire the shares of Northbridge it does not already own. Fairfax hopes to complete the transaction in the first quarter of 2009. Fairfax, which currently has a 63.1% interest in Northbridge, is offering $39 a share in cash for a total of $686 million to obtain the 36.9% interest outstanding. We recommended Northbridge as a buy at $31 in the most recent issue of Stock Pickers Digest. That’s when we pointed out that the chance of a Fairfax takeover of the company added to its appeal. Northbridge Financial is one of the largest insurers in Canada. The company provides auto, general liability and commercial insurance through its Lombard Canada, Markel Insurance of Canada, Commonwealth Insurance Co. and Federated Insurance Co. of…

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