Best Rates Beazley Debt ‘bbb-‘

October 25, 2006

A.M. Best Co. has assigned a rating of “bbb-” to the £150 million ($281.4 million) subordinated bonds issued by the U.K.-based Beazley Group plc, the non-operating holding company of the Beazley group of companies. The rating outlook is stable.

Best explained: “Beazley owns Beazley Furlonge Limited, the managing agency of Lloyd’s Syndicate 623 and Lloyd’s Syndicate 2623. The proceeds of this issue will be used to replace an existing short-term facility and to support opportunities to grow the group’s business as they arise.

“Financial and debt leverage ratios remain within A.M. Best tolerance levels. The bonds are callable on 17 October 2016 and bear an initial interest rate of 7.25 percent, payable annually in arrears. Following the call date, the interest rate resets at 328 basis points above LIBOR, payable quarterly in arrears. The bonds have a maturity date of 17 October 2026.”

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