Western Gains Majority Control of Fortress

June 4, 2024 — THE WESTERN Investment Co. of Canada has satisfied a key condition for its proposal to take over ownership of Fortress Insurance.

Western was required to acquire a minimum of 51% of the shares of Fortress in order to complete an earlier bid to increase its stake in the firm.

Western said in May that it has now secured agreements to purchase an additional 30.91% of the total shares of Fortress, increasing its ownership from 28.45% to 59.36%.

In March, Western announced that it has arranged to receive an injection of at least $20 million in funding from companies affiliated with former Fairfax Financial president Paul Rivett.

This funding would be used to acquire ownership of Fortress and turn it into a large p&c player with annual premiums of $100 million by 2028.

“Securing sufficient shares in Fortress was a key condition of our proposed transaction with Paul Rivett to transform Western into an insurance and investment holding company, so this is a very important step in moving the transaction forward,” said Sen. Scott Tannas, president and CEO of Western. “Many of the vendors of Fortress shares see the opportunity in the combined insurance and investment holding company we have proposed and have agreed to take shares in Western to remain a part of the journey. We are now ready to seek shareholder approval for the transaction and we look forward to moving forward with a shareholder meeting sometime in July.”

Western said last month that it will continue to work to secure the maximum number of Fortress shares possible through additional purchases.

Mr. Rivett will become CEO of Western once the transaction receives approval from shareholders and the TSX Venture Exchange.

Mr. Tannas will become Western’s chairman of the board of directors. He founded the investment company in 2015 after he sold his stake in broker Western Financial Group.

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