THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 12PM UPDATE: Ariel Re CEO Tom Hulst said the purchase of his company by the Goldman Sachs group is “a very good story for us and very good for Bermuda”.

Ariel Reinsurance's Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance operations will combine with Goldman Sach’s existing business underwritten through Lloyd's Syndicate 1910.

The acquired business will operate as part of Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group (GSRG), under the brand name of Ariel Reinsurance.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson said through a press release that Ariel Re's existing business will be reinsured by GSRG's Lloyd's syndicate and clients will experience a seamless transition and continuity of service.

Mr. Hulst said under the buyout all employees have been offered a new compensation package, but not all of them may take up the new deal.

Goldman Sachs and Ariel Holdings Ltd made the purchase announcement Thursday morning.

Mr Hulst said: “All the Bermudian staff have received offers of employment at Goldman Sachs, and we hope they’ll all stay.”

He said Ariel Re has 61 staff in Bermuda, 42 of which are Bermudian.

“We expect the total number of employment in Bermuda to increase as we increase the business. We expect we’ll have more than 61 employees here on the island should the transaction close as noted in the press release.”

Mr Hulst said, “Not everyone has accepted the offer so we can’t make the statement that everyone will choose to stay, but everyone is receiving an offer, but the vast majority will stay.”

He said the purchase is a good deal.

“What we’re really doing here is taking two excellent businesses — both Ariel Re and Goldman Sachs Reinsurance business have great track records. What we’re doing is putting them together and making a better organization than either one individually.

“As a combined operation we have more resources, deeper staff, better rating and betters systems and tools than either one of the systems has individually.

“We feel the cultures of the organizations are consistent so we are focused on a disciplined and quantitative approach to risk.

“Both organizations that value collaboration and responsiveness to customers.”

He said the discussions have been going on for a long period of time.

“Goldman Sachs have been admirers of Ariel for a period of time and we were able to reach a point where combining the businesses made great sense for both organizations.”

George Rivaz, chairman of Ariel Re, said: “We're excited to combine our business with Goldman Sachs at a time of significant market opportunity.”

Tom Milligan, managing director and co-head of Goldman Sachs’ property and casualty business, said: “The Ariel franchise adds scale, breadth and a deep talent pool from which to better serve our clients.

"Ariel Re's deep-rooted focus on an analytical and transparent approach to taking risk fits well with our own."

This transaction does not include Ariel's credit and surety business run through its Zurich branch office nor its Atrium Underwriting Group at Lloyds, which will continue to be owned and operated by Ariel Holdings Ltd.

The transaction is expected to close on April 1, 2012, subject to regulatory approvals. The purchase price of the transaction was not disclosed.