CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BBB+' debt rating to Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd's (Allied World) new $500 million issuance of 4.35% senior debt due 2025.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Allied World expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for the repayment, upon maturity, of the company's outstanding $500 million 7.50% senior notes due Aug. 1, 2016.
Allied World's reported financial leverage as of Sept. 30, 2015, was 18.8%. Pro forma financial leverage as of Sept. 30, 2015 including the additional debt is 27.1%, which exceeds Fitch's rating trigger for the current rating level. Once the notes that mature in 2016 are repaid, leverage is expected to return below 25%.
Reported interest coverage was 5.0 times (x) through Sept. 30, 2015 with a five-year average from 2010-2014 of 7.6x. Fitch believes that with the additional debt interest coverage will be modestly lower over the near term.
Key rating triggers that could result in a downgrade include:
--Deterioration in reinsurance sector fundamentals or consolidation in the reinsurance landscape that Fitch viewed as weakening Allied World's competitive position, operating profile or overall profitability;
--Failure to maintain a multi-year average calendar-year combined ratio of 100% or better;
--Growth in premiums considerably greater than peers;
--Significant adverse reserve development;
--Material loss of capital that leads to an increase in underwriting leverage above a 1.0x net written premiums-to-equity ratio or financial leverage increasing above 25%;
--Catastrophe loss experience that greatly exceeds the company's probable maximum loss estimates.
Key rating triggers that could lead to an upgrade include:
--Enhanced scale and relative competitive position with maintenance of current operating performance in the challenging reinsurance environment;
--Material improvement in key financial metrics (e.g. net premiums written to equity) to more overcapitalized levels;
--Underwriting results and returns on capital in line with higher rated property/casualty (re)insurer peers.
FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS
Fitch has assigned a 'BBB+' to the following debt issue:
Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd
--$500 million 4.35% senior notes due Oct. 29, 2025.
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com.
Insurance Rating Methodology (pub. 16 Sep. 2015)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form