The Main Street America Group to Acquire Michigan-Domiciled Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Company

The Main Street America Group announced today it has reached an agreement to acquire Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Company, a Michigan-domiciled private passenger auto insurance carrier based in Grand Rapids, Mich., from Newco Financial Holdings Inc., an insurance holding company based in Grand Rapids.

The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is subject to regulatory approval and shareholder approval and is expected to close in late summer 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Our acquisition of Great Lakes Casualty is part of our long-term strategy of geographic diversification to increase scale and marks our entry into the Midwest to complement our 85 years of successfully serving our ‘Main Street’ independent agent-customers and their customers (policyholders) throughout the Eastern Seaboard,” said Tom Van Berkel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Jacksonville, Fla.-based super regional P&C Carrier Main Street America. “We will be entering a market in Michigan that has excellent growth potential for us.”

Great Lakes Casualty, founded by a group of independent agents in1997, is currently represented by 107 independent agents throughout Michigan that are also investors in the company. In 2007, Great Lakes generated approximately $9.5 million in direct written premium and has more than 6,300 policyholders throughout The Wolverine State.

Great Lakes president Keith Fry will join Main Street America to oversee the company’s operations in Michigan and will report to Doug Eden, Main Street America’s senior vice president of field operations. The company will remain branded as Great Lakes Casualty and continue to be based in Grand Rapids.

“Our affiliation with Main Street America is great news for our independent agent-investors and our policyholders, as well as our local and state economy, as we will be joining a financially strong organization that is 100 percent committed to the independent agency system and has one of the best reputations in the property-casualty industry,” Fry said. “This will enable us to increase our product offerings to Michigan consumers and provide more sales opportunities for our agents.”

About The Main Street America Group

With roots dating back to 1923, The Main Street America Group is a super regional insurance company that operates four property-casualty insurance carriers: NGM Insurance Company, Old Dominion Insurance Company, Main Street America Assurance Company and MSA Insurance Company. Based in Jacksonville, Fla., Main Street America offers a wide range of commercial and personal insurance products, and fidelity and surety bond products, to individuals, families and businesses.

With more than $850 million in direct premium written exclusively by nearly 1,200 independent insurance agents, Main Street America insures more than 500,000 policyholders along the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. The 85-year-old company has regional offices in Jacksonville; Keene, N.H.; Richmond, Va.; and Syracuse, N.Y., and a claims reporting center in Auburn, Mass. A.M. Best Company rates The Main Street America Group as an “A” (Excellent) due to its financial strength. The Main Street America Group is the founding company partner of Trusted Choice(R), the global branding program of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. For more information about The Main Street America Group, please visit

Contact: Mark Friedlander The Main Street America Group (904) 380-7461 [email protected]

SOURCE: The Main Street America Group