The Westaim Corporation (TSXV: WED) has been publicly traded since 1996. At the time of its initial public offering (as a spin-out from Viridian Inc.), it had a portfolio of development stage business opportunities which included: coking-resistant coatings, electroluminescent flat panel displays, biomedical coatings, electronic ceramics and structural ceramics. In the period between 2005 and 2008, after a strategic review by its Board of Directors, Westaim proceeded to divest virtually all of its businesses in order to improve its business focus and to pursue other investment opportunities. In April 2009, Westaim hired the current management team to pursue investment opportunities to maximize value for shareholders.
In 2010, the Company completed its opportunistic acquisition of JEVCO Insurance Company. With the disposition of its remaining industrial assets, Westaim became an investment company with a particular focus on the financial services industry. In response to an unsolicited offer, in September 2012, Westaim sold Jevco and subsequently returned substantially all of the proceeds of the sale of Jevco to its shareholders thereby generating superior risk-adjusted returns.
In 2014, the Company established Westaim HIIG Limited Partnership, (the Partnership). The Partnership was funded by the Company along with third party investors, including affiliates of Everest Re Group, Ltd. and Catlin Group Limited. With the funding, in July 2014, the Partnership completed the acquisition of the majority interest in Houston International Insurance Group, Ltd. (HIIG).
In 2015, the Company established the Arena Group. Westaim (through a number of affiliated entities) made an aggregate investment in the Arena Group of approximately $185 million. This investment was funded in part from the net proceeds of Westaim’s previously announced equity offering which raised gross proceeds of approximately C$234 million, including approximately C$22 million provided by Westaim’s management team, insiders and certain other investors.