A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of the property/casualty subsidiaries of Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (Maiden Holdings) (Hamilton, Bermuda) [NASDAQ: MHLD] also known as Maiden Group (Maiden). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb-” of Maiden Holdings.
Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR and senior debt ratings of “bbb-” of Maiden Holdings North America, Ltd. (Maiden NA) (Delaware), a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Maiden Holdings. Maiden NA’s senior notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Maiden Holdings. At the same time, A.M. Best has assigned indicative ratings of “bbb-” to senior debt, “bb+” to subordinated debt, “bb” to junior subordinated debt and “bb” to preferred stock of the recently filed shelf registration of Maiden Holdings and Maiden NA. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings.)
The ratings of Maiden reflect its consistently profitable underwriting and operating performance along with its solid risk-adjusted capitalization, in part due to capital contributions from Maiden Holdings and the operational benefits that Maiden derives as a quota share partner with AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.’s (AFSI) Bermuda reinsurance subsidiary, AmTrust International Insurance, Ltd., (AII) and American Capital Acquisition Corporation (ACAC).
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the execution risk faced by Maiden in achieving its business plans and integrating newer business, as well as the continuing competitive environment in its core reinsurance markets.Maiden Holdings’ adjusted debt-to-total capital of 26.9% and adjusted debt-to-total tangible capital of 29.6% at March 31, 2012, were within A.M. Best’s guidelines at the company’s current ratings. In addition, Maiden Holdings’ interest coverage ratio remains adequate for its ratings. Key rating factors that may lead to positive rating actions include the organization producing operating results that exceed its peers for an extended period of time along with the strengthening of the group’s risk-adjusted capitalization. However, factors that may lead to negative rating actions include a trend of increasingly deteriorating underwriting and operating performance to a level below its peers or an erosion of surplus to an extent to cause a significant decline in risk-adjusted capitalization.