CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, March 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United Fire & Casualty Company (Nasdaq:UFCS) today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:MIGP).

With this acquisition, initially announced on November 30, 2010, there is no overlap between the agency networks of United Fire and Mercer, as Mercer primarily markets in six Western and Mid-Atlantic states in which United Fire has no appointed property and casualty agencies. United Fire will now market through over 1,000 independent agencies, diversifying exposure to weather and other catastrophe risks across our geographic markets. Also with the completion of the acquisition, the combined company will be able to build on common conservative underwriting and investment cultures.

"The completion of this transaction marks an important milestone for United Fire," said Randy A. Ramlo, president and chief executive officer of United Fire. "Today, we significantly expanded our resources to better serve our policyholders and agents by offering additional products and services. With Mercer Insurance, we know that our shared focus on underwriting profitability will achieve the continued strong, consistent results our United Fire stockholders expect."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Mercer Insurance stockholders will receive $28.25 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $191 million. As previously reported, United Fire anticipates the acquisition will contribute to its net income and return on equity no later than 2012.

About United Fire & Casualty Company and subsidiaries

Founded in 1946, United Fire & Casualty Company and its subsidiaries are engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance, and selling annuities. Our company's net premiums written totaled $463.9 million through the year ended December 31, 2010, and our market capitalization was $584.7 million at December 31, 2010.  

United Fire and its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries are licensed in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, and represented by approximately 800 independent agencies. Our line of products consists of commercial insurance (including surety bonds) and personal insurance. Approximately 91 percent of property and casualty premiums written are commercial in nature. 

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