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Validus acquiring crop insurance biz from Archer Daniels Midland

Validus Holdings Ltd. has agreed to acquire Archer Daniels Midland Co.'s Crop Risk Services business for $127.5 million in cash.

Decatur, Ill.-based Crop Risk Services is a primary crop insurance general agent with $548.9 million in gross premiums written for the 2016 reinsurance year. Validus, which has committed to keeping the business intact along with its Decatur operations, plans to have the company operate as part of the Western World Insurance Group. Nearly all Crop Risk Services employees will transfer upon the deal's closing. The deal includes a marketing services agreement under which the companies will work together to offer insurance and farm products and services to Crop Risk Services customers.

Validus plans to fund the deal with cash on hand and expects it to close during the second quarter. Archer Daniels Midland expects to record a book gain upon the sale's closing.

Goldman Sachs & Co. is serving as Validus' financial adviser, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is its legal counsel.