Best Comments on Rating of Alea Group Subsidiaries

November 3, 2003

A.M. Best Co. released a comment noting that the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) of the insurance and reinsurance operating subsidiaries of Alea Group (Bermuda) remain unchanged, as does the stable outlook.

“The comment follows the company’s announcement of a USD 275 million initial public offering (IPO) and the future listing of the ultimate holding company, Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd., on the London stock exchange,” said Best.

“A successful completion of the proposed IPO will mitigate A.M. Best’s current concerns regarding the strain on Alea’s risk-adjusted capitalisation from its growth plans through 2005,” it continued. “Alea plans to repay USD 50 million existing subordinate preferred stock out of the proceeds of the IPO. The rating continues to recognise Alea’s improving earnings–USD 34.6 million at June 30, 2003 compared to USD 14.5 million for the same period in 2002–and excellent business profile.”

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