A.M. Best Places Ratings of Sirius International Group, Ltd. and Its Subsidiaries Under Review With Negative Implications

LONDON--()--A.M. Best has placed under review with negative implications the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of Sirius International Insurance Corporation (publ) (Sirius) (Sweden) and its subsidiary, Sirius America Insurance Company (New York, NY). A.M. Best also has placed under review with negative implications the ICR of “bbb” of Sirius International Group, Ltd. (Sirius Group) (Bermuda). Concurrently, A.M. Best has placed the issue ratings of Sirius Group under review with negative implications. (See below for a detailed listing of all issue ratings.)

The rating action follows the recent announcement that Sirius Group’s parent, White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (WTM), has entered into a definitive agreement with China Minsheng Investment Corp., Ltd. (CMI), under which CMI will acquire 100% of the common shares of Sirius Group in an all cash transaction.

The under review status reflects uncertainties over CMI’s financial strength and its long-term plans for Sirius Group, particularly regarding future underwriting risk appetite and investment strategy. The ratings will remain under review pending the conclusion of A.M. Best’s assessment of CMI and its intention for Sirius Group.

The current rating of Sirius Group reflects its solid risk-adjusted capitalization, which is supported by its safety reserve of SEK 10.5 billion at year-end 2014 and strong operating profitability. Sirius’ business profile is well-diversified geographically and by line of business, and its earnings have been resilient despite the challenging conditions in the global reinsurance market.

The following issue ratings have been placed under review with negative implications:

Sirius International Group, Ltd.
-- “bbb” on USD 400 million 6.375% senior unsecured notes, due in 2017
-- “bb+” on the USD 250 million non-cumulative perpetual preference shares

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009, the following is a link to required disclosures: A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited Supplementary Disclosure.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please visit A.M. Best’s Ratings & Criteria Center.

A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2015 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Charlotte Vigier, +(44) 20-7397-0270
Senior Financial Analyst
charlotte.vigier@ambest.com
or
Gale Guerra, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5069
Senior Financial Analyst
gale.guerra@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Charlotte Vigier, +(44) 20-7397-0270
Senior Financial Analyst
charlotte.vigier@ambest.com
or
Gale Guerra, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5069
Senior Financial Analyst
gale.guerra@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +(1) 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com