A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) of the Mercer Insurance Group (Pennington, N.J.). The rating outlook is stable.
The rating reflects the group’s strong capitalization, solid operating performance and conservative management philosophy. These factors are derived from management’s disciplined underwriting approach, diversified product offering and local market knowledge. Additionally, Mercer Mutual Insurance Company successfully completed a conversion from a Pennsylvania mutual company to a stock insurance company, now known as Mercer Insurance Company, and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the newly created Mercer Insurance Group, Inc.
On Dec. 15, 2003, the initial public offering (IPO) closed with the sale of 5,635,000 shares of common stock at $10.00 per share. In concert with the IPO, MIGP issued 502,525 shares to acquire the remaining 51 percent interest in Franklin Holding Company. Further, the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) purchased 626,111 shares, bringing the total shares issued to 6,845,733. The net cash proceeds from the IPO is approximately $54 million and will be used for general corporate purposes, as well as to enhance the operating entities’ capital position with approximately $26 million down streamed from MIGP.
The group writes predominately in New Jersey with a growing book of business in Pennsylvania. Operations are focused on writing homeowners and commercial lines coverages, including workers’ compensation, commercial automobile and a religious institution package policy. Commercial products target mercantile, light manufacturing, business owners, artisans and contractors coverage. Business is written through approximately 300 independent agencies.
The financial strength rating of A (Excellent) has been affirmed for the Mercer Insurance Group and its following members:
— Mercer Insurance Company
— Mercer Insurance Company of N.J., Inc.
— Franklin Insurance Company
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