HCC Insurance Holdings haspaid an undisclosed sum to acquire cineFinance, Fred Milstein's LA-based movieunderwriter that also brought Hollywood-style completion bond financing to HongKong and Korean cinema.

Based in Houston, HCC is aninternational insurance holding company with offices across the US, and inBermuda, England and Spain. HCC has assets of more than $5bn and shareholders'equity exceeding $1bn.

Milstein, whose career spansstints at William Morris, Miramax and Cineplex Odeon Films before spending thelast decade in the independent completion bond arena, will remain at cF.

Under the new owners, cF'swritten premium volume is expected to reach $25m over the next few years.

Asa boutique completion guarantor, cF is backed by several of the leadingsyndicates at Lloyd's and has been granted full worldwide binding authority onbehalf of their top underwriters. This, according to cF's website, enables thecompany to issue policies with the security directly from Lloyd's, notrequiring any reinsurance "cut-through" provisions.

Withoffices in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Dublin, Hong Kong and Sydney, cF hasbeen particularly active in international co-productions, issuing completionbonds on films such as Peter Pau's The Touch and Tsui Hark's Era Of Vampires.

Milstein'sfilm insurance activities were even documented on the big screen when he isseen pulling the plug on Terry Gilliam's ill-fated production of The Man WhoKilled Don Quixote production in thedocumentary Lost In La Mancha.

Milsteinis partnered in cineFinance with insurance executives Ned Gurevich, CEO and JimBerger, senior vice president, respectively of Entertainment Risk Agency.

Gurevich and Berger,will nowjoin the newly formed ASU Entertainment Division (ASUED), a New York branch ofHCC subsidiary ASU International. ASU is an underwriting agency specializing indisability insurance for sports, entertainment and other high profileindividuals, as well as event cancellation.