RIO DE JANEIRO--()--Sul America S.A. (SASA; long-term local currency IDR 'BBB-'/Stable Outlook) announced that ING Insurance International B.V. (ING) would sell its 45% stake in Sulasapar Participacoes (Sulasapar), SASA's majority shareholder, to Sulasa Participacoes S.A. (Sulasa), the owner of the remaining 55% stake in Sulasapar and the holding company of the Larragoiti family, according to Fitch Ratings.
Following the completion of the transaction, ING will be left with a direct share in SASA and its participation in SASA's capital will fall from 36% to 28.8%. Meanwhile, the Larragoiti family's direct and indirect participation will increase from 24.8% to 31.9%. The remaining 39.3% of the shares will continue to be held by the market and the treasury and directors of the company. SASA will stop using the 'ING' brand.
The announcement is neutral to SASA's ratings which are based on the company's stand-alone profile and do not incorporate the potential support from ING. The transaction is not expected to have any financial, operational or commercial effect on SASA at this stage. Fitch understands that the Larragoiti family will finance its acquisition independently from the company using the dividend flow from SASA. Fitch does not expect a significant change in SASA's dividend policy that would undermine internal capital generation and liquidity. However, if Fitch observes any relevant deviation from these expectations that might negatively affect SASA's financial strength going forward, it would review the ratings.
ING's intention to reduce its stake in SASA has been public since 2010, when it announced that it would sell its insurance, pension and asset manager operations throughout the world. In 2011, ING sold all its stakes in insurance companies based in Latin America, except for Brazil, to Grupo Suramerica of Colombia. ING's deadline for divestment of these assets is 2016, however, the eventual timing and conditions of the sale are not known yet. Fitch will continue to monitor the progress of the changes in SASA's shareholder composition and the possible impacts on its ratings.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Insurance Rating Methodology' (Jan. 11, 2013);
--'National Ratings Criteria' (Jan. 19, 2011).
Applicable Criteria and Related Research
Insurance Rating Methodology ￢ﾀﾔ Amended
National Ratings Criteria