Capital Markets Assurance Corp. finally changed hands yesterday, with a group of investors including the corporate bond insurer's senior management coming to agreement with Citicorp.
Citicorp agreed to sell the company last November, but negotiations dragged on over the purchase price and exact stakes to be held by members of the William Rockefeller family, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Other buyers include Saratoga Partners II, a limited partnership run by Dillon, Read & Co., and private investors. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Originally, Elmrock Inc., an investment arm of the Rockefeller family, had negotiated to buy part of the firm, but the stakes eventually were purchased directly by the Rockefellers.
The prolonged negotiations temporarily distracted CapMac from participating fully in the structured finance market. Sources said the firm was instructed by Citicorp to concentrate on the sale, and it resulted in inactivity in the first quarter of this year.
In the second quarter, however, CapMac has been "really cooking," one structured finance source said.
"There's no denying that the sale, having gone as long as it has, has consumed management's attention," said a spokesman for the firm. "But now there's a lot of opportunity out there to pursue."
CapMac also has been rumored to be eyeing the municipal bond insurance market to both diversify its portfolio and partake of certain capacity-constrained credits, which allow higher than average premiums.
CapMac has "no immediate plans at this stage" to insure municipal bonds, the spikesman said.