A.M. Best Comments on Credit Ratings of The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company Following Agreement to Acquire Western Financial Group

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best has commented that the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” of The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (Wawanesa) (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), remain unchanged following the announcement by Wawanesa’s subsidiary, Trimont Financial Ltd. (Trimont), that it has agreed to acquire Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance Company from the Desjardins Group. The outlooks of the FSR and the Long-Term ICR are negative. The FSR of A- (Excellent) and Long-Term ICR of “a-” of Wawanesa subsidiary Wawanesa General Insurance Company (Wawanesa General) (San Diego, CA) remain unchanged. The outlooks of these ratings remain negative. The FSR of A (Excellent) and Long-Term ICR of “a” of Wawanesa subsidiary Wawanesa Life Insurance Company also remain unchanged. The outlooks of these ratings remain stable.

Trimont has agreed to acquire Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance (collectively “Western”) from Desjardins Financial Corporation, a Desjardins Group subsidiary, for a total transaction value of approximately $775 million. The transaction includes Western’s primary business units: its brokerage network, Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions, Coast Capital Insurance Services and Western Life Assurance. This acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. This transaction, by itself, has no immediate effect on the rated entities of Wawanesa or their rating outlooks. A.M. Best will monitor the extent to which the transaction will alter the company’s risk profile and affect its risk-adjusted returns.

The planned transaction to acquire Western Life Assurance Company is expected to add additional scale and synergies to Wawanesa’s growing life insurance segment.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings 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 see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings.

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

Copyright © 2017 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Joel Silverthorn, 908-439-2200, ext. 5120
Senior Financial Analyst–P/C
joel.silverthorn@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Frank Walko, 908-439-2200, ext. 5072
Financial Analyst–L/H
frank.walko@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Joel Silverthorn, 908-439-2200, ext. 5120
Senior Financial Analyst–P/C
joel.silverthorn@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Frank Walko, 908-439-2200, ext. 5072
Financial Analyst–L/H
frank.walko@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com