S&P Affirms Alea Group ‘BBB’ Ratings; Withdrawn at Company Request

February 15, 2006

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that it has affirmed its ‘BBB’ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on all Alea group operating entities: Alea Europe AG, Alea (Bermuda) Ltd., Alea Global Risk Ltd., Alea Jersey Ltd., Alea London
Ltd., Alea North America Insurance Co., and Alea North America Specialty Insurance Co. All the ratings have a stable outlook.

S&P then announced that the “ratings were withdrawn at the request of the companies’ management. Consequently, the companies are no longer subject to surveillance by Standard & Poor’s.”

S&P explained: “The Alea group went into run-off in 2005, and management is taking steps to maximize the value of the group, including the sale of renewal rights, the aggressive management of costs, and the commutation of contracts.”

S&P said it “expects the Alea group to meet its policyholder obligations in full. Although the holding company of the group, Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. (not rated), has unrated senior debt totaling $200 million and unrated guaranteed trust preferred securities at an intermediate holding company level totaling $120 million, these are junior to the policyholder obligations of the group’s operating companies.

“Ongoing shareholder funds support net loss reserves estimated at $1.3 billion. Although there has been adverse reserve development reported in recent years, this is not expected to exhaust shareholder funds, either in the operating companies or at the consolidated level.”

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