A.M. Best Co. has placed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of the operating subsidiaries of Max Capital Group Ltd. (Max) [NASDAQ: MXGL] under review with positive implications following the recent announcement of its intent to merge with Harbor Point Limited. These rating actions apply to Max’s lead operating company, MaxBermuda Ltd, its affiliated operating subsidiaries, the ICR of “bbb-” and all debt ratings of Max. All the above named companies are domiciled in Hamilton, Bermuda. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings.) The under review status reflects the potential benefits to Max in terms of broadening its management depth, adding strong underwriting teams, improved diversification, increased capacity and greater scale of operations. At a high level, the new company, which is to be named Alterra Capital Holdings Limited, will have little overlap in terms of lines of business, which makes this a complementary transaction. It is anticipated that the risk-adjusted capital of the combined organization will be strong after considering the proposed post closing extraordinary dividend of approximately $300 million. The transaction itself is stock for stock and is not contingent upon raising public or private capital. The deal is not expected to close until sometime in second quarter 2010, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. The ratings will remain under review until the transaction has closed and A.M. Best has completed its evaluation of the merged entity. The FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of “a-” have been placed under review with positive implications for the following operating subsidiaries of Max Capital Group Ltd.:
Max Bermuda Ltd.
Max Re Europe Limited
Max Insurance Europe Limited
Max America Insurance Company
Max Specialty Insurance Company
The ICR of “bbb-” has been placed under review with positive implications for Max Capital Group Ltd. The following debt rating has been placed under review with positive implications: