Validus Files to Sell Shares; Best, S&P Assign Ratings

August 11, 2008

Bermuda-based Validus Holdings, Ltd. announced that it has filed a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “The registration statement, which became effective upon filing with the SEC, will permit the company to offer and sell common shares, preferred shares, depositary shares, debt securities and other securities,” said the bulletin.

“The terms of any offering by the company under the registration statement will be established at the time of the offering and will be described in a prospectus supplement. The registration statement is intended to provide the company with additional flexibility to access capital markets for general corporate purposes, subject to market conditions and the company’s capital needs,” the statement continued.

Validus said, however, that neither the company, nor its “Qualified Sponsors (which consist of Aquiline Capital Partners LLC, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, Vestar Capital Partners and New Mountain Capital)” have any intention “to offer or sell any of the Company’s securities, including common shares, at this time.”

A.M. Best Co. assigned indicative ratings of “bbb-” on senior debt, “bb+” on subordinated debt and “bb” on the preferred stock of Validus Holdings, and said the outlook on the ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned its ‘BBB-‘ counterparty credit rating on Validus Holdings with a stable outlook. S&P has also assigned its preliminary ‘BBB-‘ senior debt, ‘BB+’ subordinated debt, and ‘BB’ preferred stock ratings to Validus’ universal shelf registration.

S&P credit analyst Dennis Sugrue stated: “The assigned rating is based on Validus’ good competitive position, having leveraged its first mover advantage after Katrina, Rita, Wilma by providing capacity to the market as well as increasing its footprint, diversification and scope following the acquisition of Talbot, strong capitalization, strong risk controls around exposure management, and very strong operating performance since inception.”

Best said that in its opinion “any issuance under the registration will be used to support growth and enhance financial flexibility. There are no plans to offer or sell any securities at this time. Following any debt issuances, Validus’ debt-to-adjusted capital would be expected to be in the mid 20 percent range or better, with fixed charge coverage sustained in the high single digit range.”

Sources: Validus Holdings –; A.M. Best –; Standard & Poor’s –

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