A.M. Best Places Ratings of Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd. and Its Subsidiaries Under Review with Developing Implications

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--A.M. Best has placed under review with developing implications the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of Platinum Underwriters Bermuda, Ltd. (Platinum) (Bermuda) and its strategic affiliate, Platinum Underwriters Reinsurance, Inc. (Baltimore, MD). A.M. Best also has placed under review with developing implications the ICR of “bbb” of Platinum’s holding company, Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd. (Platinum Holdings) (Bermuda)(NYSE:PTP), and the debt ratings of Platinum Holdings and Platinum Underwriters Finance, Inc. (Delaware).

These actions follow the recent announcement that Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd. and RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (RenaissanceRe) (Bermuda)(NYSE:RNR), have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which RenaissanceRe will acquire Platinum. Under the terms of the transaction, the common shareholders of Platinum will receive cash and RenaissanceRe common shares with an approximate value of $76 per share, or approximately $1.9 billion in the aggregate. The aggregate consideration for the transaction will consist of 7.5 million RenaissanceRe common shares with a current value of $0.76 billion and $1.16 billion of cash. The approximate value of $76 per share represents a 24% premium to Platinum’s closing price per share as of Nov. 21, 2014. This agreement has been unanimously approved by both companies’ Board of Directors. The merger is anticipated to close during the first half of 2015, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The under review with developing implications status reflects the limited information available regarding the transaction and the uncertainty around RenaissanceRe’s future plans for Platinum. Additionally, there is some concern with the retention of key personnel at Platinum to underwrite the business, which A.M. Best considers important as RenaissanceRe has limited experience in casualty business, due to its focus on property catastrophe reinsurance.

The ratings will remain under review pending the completion of the transaction and A.M. Best’s continuing discussions with management relative to the future plans for the Platinum legal entities.

The following debt ratings have been placed under review with developing implications:

Platinum Underwriters Finance, Inc.—(guaranteed by Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd.)
-- “bbb” on $250 million 7.50% senior unsecured notes, due 2017

The following indicative ratings available under the shelf registration have been placed under review with developing implications:

Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd.
-- “bbb” on senior unsecured debt
-- “bbb-” on subordinated debt
-- “bb+” on preferred stock

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Key criteria reports utilized:

  • Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings
  • Rating Members of Insurance Groups

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 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 © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Gale Guerra, 908-439-2200, ext. 5069
Senior Financial Analyst
gale.guerra@ambest.com
or
Robert DeRose, 908-439-2200, ext. 5453
Vice President
robert.derose@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Gale Guerra, 908-439-2200, ext. 5069
Senior Financial Analyst
gale.guerra@ambest.com
or
Robert DeRose, 908-439-2200, ext. 5453
Vice President
robert.derose@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com