Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: ABK) (Ambac or the Company) announced today that its Board of Directors decided not to make the regularly scheduled interest payment due today, November 1, 2010, on the Company’s 7.50% Debentures due May 1, 2023 (“2023 Notes”). If the interest is not paid within 30 days of today, an event of default will occur under the indenture for the 2023 Notes. The occurrence of an event of default would permit the holders of the 2023 Notes to accelerate the maturity of the notes. As of June 30, 2010, the Company had total indebtedness of $1,622 million. The next scheduled payment of interest on the Company’s indebtedness is November 15, 2010. To date, the Company has been unable to raise additional capital as an alternative to seeking bankruptcy protection. As such, the Company is currently pursuing, with an ad-hoc committee of senior debt holders, a restructuring of its outstanding debt through a prepackaged bankruptcy proceeding. There can be no assurance that any definitive agreement will be reached. If the Company is unable to reach agreement on a prepackaged bankruptcy in the near term, it intends to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code prior to the end of the year. Such filing may be with or without agreement with major creditor groups concerning a plan of reorganization. The filing for bankruptcy protection would accelerate the maturity of all of the Company’s indebtedness. A significant consideration for any restructuring or reorganization is the impact, if any, on the Company’s estimated $7.0 billion net operating loss (“NOLs”) tax carry forward. The Company considers the NOLs to be a valuable asset. However, the Company’s ability to use the NOLs could be substantially limited if an ownership change were to occur, as defined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and further detailed in the Form 8-K filed today by the Company with the SEC (available at www.sec.gov or on the Company’s web site at www.ambac.com). Earlier this year, the Company entered into a Tax Benefit Preservation Plan to reduce the risk of an ownership change resulting from the trading of the Company’s stock. Nevertheless, if the Company files for bankruptcy protection, stock issued to the Company’s debt holders in connection with a reorganization could trigger an ownership change if a significant portion of the debt being exchanged had been held by such debt holders for less than 18 months prior to the filing for bankruptcy. Accordingly, extensive buying of the Company’s debentures prior to a bankruptcy filing by persons or institutions who could hold 5% or more of the Company’s stock following a bankruptcy reorganization could substantially limit the Company’s ability to use its NOLs in the future. Prior to the occurrence of an event of default under the indenture for the 2023 Notes, the Company intends either (i) to pay interest on the 2023 Notes, (ii) to solicit acceptances for a prepackaged plan of reorganization and, if such solicitation is successful, then to file for bankruptcy with a related prepackaged plan, or (iii) to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Several factors may influence which of the above courses of action the Company may take, including the status of negotiations with the ad hoc committee of senior debt holders and actions required to preserve the NOLs.
About AmbacAmbac Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in New York City, is a holding company whose affiliates provided financial guarantees and financial services to clients in both the public and private sectors around the world. Ambac's principal operating subsidiary, Ambac Assurance Corporation, a guarantor of public finance and structured finance obligations, has a Caa2 rating under review for possible upgrade from Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and an R (regulatory intervention) financial strength rating from Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. Ambac Financial Group, Inc. common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol ABK). Forward-Looking Statements This release contains statements that may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any or all of management’s forward-looking statements here or in other publications may turn out to be incorrect and are based on Ambac management’s current belief or opinions. Ambac’s actual results may vary materially, and there are no guarantees about the performance of Ambac’s securities. Among events, risks, uncertainties or factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are: (1) Ambac has insufficient capital to finance its debt service and operating expense requirements beyond the second quarter of 2011 and may need to seek bankruptcy protection; (2) the unlikely ability of Ambac Assurance to pay dividends to Ambac in the near term; (3) the risk that holders of debt securities or counterparties on credit default swaps or other similar agreements bring claims alleging that the rehabilitation of the Segregated Account constitutes an event of default under the applicable debt indenture or an event of default under the applicable ISDA contract; (4) adverse events arising from the Segregated Account Rehabilitation Proceedings, including the injunctions issued by the Wisconsin rehabilitation court to enjoin certain adverse actions related to the Segregated Account being successfully challenged as not enforceable; (5) litigation arising from the Segregated Account Rehabilitation Proceedings; (6) any changes to the Proposed Settlement, or the failure to consummate the Proposed Settlement; (7) decisions made by the rehabilitator for the benefit of policyholders may result in material adverse consequences for Ambac’s securityholders; (8) potential of rehabilitation proceedings against Ambac Assurance, with resulting adverse impacts; (9) the risk that reinsurers may dispute amounts owed us under our reinsurance agreements; (10) possible delisting of Ambac’s common shares from the NYSE; (11) the risk that market risks impact assets in our investment portfolio or the value of our assets posted as collateral in respect of investment agreements and interest rate swap and currency swap transactions; (12) risks which impact assets in Ambac Assurance’s investment portfolio; (13) risks relating to determination of amount of impairments taken on investments; (14) credit and liquidity risks due to unscheduled and unanticipated withdrawals on investment agreements; (15) market spreads and pricing on insured CDOs and other derivative products insured or issued by Ambac; (16) inadequacy of reserves established for losses and loss expenses, including our inability to realize the remediation recoveries included in our reserves; (17) Ambac’s financial position and the Segregated Account Rehabilitation Proceedings may prompt departures of key employees; (18) the risk of litigation and regulatory inquiries or investigations, and the risk of adverse outcomes in connection therewith, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations, financial position, profitability or cash flows; (19) difficult economic conditions, which may not improve in the near future, and adverse changes in the economic, credit, foreign currency or interest rate environment in the United States and abroad; (20) the actions of the U. S. Government, Federal Reserve and other government and regulatory bodies to stabilize the financial markets; (21) likely unavailability of adequate capital support and liquidity; (22) credit risk throughout our business, including credit risk related to residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) and large single exposures to reinsurers; (23) default by one or more of Ambac Assurance’s portfolio investments, insured issuers, counterparties or reinsurers; (24) the risk that our risk management policies and practices do not anticipate certain risks and/or the magnitude of potential for loss as a result of unforeseen risks; (25) factors that may influence the amount of installment premiums paid to Ambac, including the imposition of the payment moratorium with respect to claims payments as a result of Segregated Account Rehabilitation Proceedings; (26) changes in prevailing interest rates; (27) the risk of volatility in income and earnings, including volatility due to the application of fair value accounting, required under the relevant derivative accounting guidance, to the portion of our credit enhancement business which is executed in credit derivative form, and due to the adoption of the new financial guarantee insurance accounting standard effective January 1, 2009, which, among other things, introduces volatility in the recognition of premium earnings and losses; (28) changes in accounting principles or practices that may impact Ambac’s reported financial results; (29) legislative and regulatory developments; (30) operational risks, including with respect to internal processes, risk models, systems and employees; (31) changes in tax laws and other tax-related risks; (32) other factors described in the Risk Factors section in Part I, Item 1A of Ambac’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 and also disclosed from time to time by Ambac in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which are available on the Ambac website at www.ambac.com and at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov; and (33) other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and that Ambac does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that arise after the date the statements are made. You are therefore advised to consult any further disclosures we make on related subjects in Ambac’s reports to the SEC.