Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘A-/F2’ ratings of ACE Ltd. (ACE) following today’s announcement that ACE plans to spin off its financial guaranty insurance subsidiaries via an initial public offering (IPO).
Fitch generally views the transaction as positive for ACE’s debt ratings and the ratings of its U.S. property/casualty insurance subsidiaries, depending on the amount of proceeds from the IPO and the manner in which they are deployed. Fitch expects the transaction to increase ACE’s tangible equity and generate cash which may be used to support the company’s insurance operations or reduce its financial leverage.
In connection with the announcement, Fitch also affirmed the ‘AA’ insurer financial strength (IFS) rating of ACE Capital Re International Ltd. (ACRI), one of the two financial guaranty insurance subsidiaries to be involved in the IPO along with ACE Guaranty Corp. (not rated by Fitch). The affirmation of ACRI is based on the expected high credit quality of ACRI’s insured portfolio on a going-forward basis, supplemented by sufficient capital to support the existing rating.
Additionally, the ‘AA’ IFS rating of ACE Capital Title Reinsurance Company (ACTR) has been placed on Rating Watch Evolving until such time as Fitch has a better understanding of the support to be provided to ACTR in the future.Entity/Issue/Type Action Rating/Outlook ACE Limited –Long-term rating Affirm ‘A-‘ –Short-term rating Affirm ‘F2’ –Senior Debt Affirm ‘A-‘ –Commercial Paper Affirm ‘F2’ –Preferred Stock Affirm ‘BBB+’ –Rating Outlook Stable. ACE INA Holdings, Inc. –Long-term rating Affirm ‘A-‘ –Short-term rating Affirm ‘F2’ –Senior debt Affirm ‘A-‘ –Commercial paper Affirm ‘F2’ –Rating Outlook Stable ACE Capital Trust I –Trust preferred securities Affirm ‘BBB+’ ACE Capital Trust II –Capital securities Affirm ‘BBB+’ ACE American Lloyds Insurance Company ACE American Insurance Company ACE Employers Insurance Company ACE Fire Underwriters Insurance Company ACE Indemnity Insurance Company ACE Insurance Company of Illinois ACE Insurance Company of Ohio ACE Insurance Company of Texas ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Allied Insurance Company Atlantic Employers Insurance Company Bankers Standard Fire and Marine Co. Bankers Standard Insurance Company Illinois Union Insurance Company INA Surplus Insurance Company Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America Insurance Company of North America Pacific Employers Insurance Company –Insurer financial strength Affirm ‘A’ –Rating Outlook Stable. ACE American Reinsurance Company Century Indemnity Company Century Reinsurance Company –Insurer Financial Strength Affirm ‘BB+’ –Rating Outlook Negative. ACE Capital Re International Ltd. ACE Capital Re Overseas Ltd. ACE Capital Mortgage Reinsurance Co. –Insurer financial strength Affirm ‘AA’ –Rating Outlook Stable. ACE Capital Title Reinsurance Co. –Insurer financial strength Rating Watch Evolving ‘AA’.
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