Brit Considering $245 Million Offer for PRI Group; Best Puts Ratings Under Review

March 28, 2003

The U.K.’s Brit Insurance Holdings Plc, the parent company of Brit Insurance Limited (BIL), indicated that it is holding talks with the U.K.’s Professional Risks Insurance Limited (PRI) about a tender offer valued at £156 million ($245 million). According to reports over 52 percent of PRI’s shareholders have already agreed to accept 120 pence a share (about $1.88).

The U.K.’s Brit Insurance Holdings Plc, the parent company of Brit Insurance Limited (BIL), indicated that it is holding talks with the U.K.’s Professional Risks Insurance Limited (PRI) about a tender offer valued at £156 million ($245 million). According to reports over 52 percent of PRI’s shareholders have already agreed to accept 120 pence a share (about $1.88).

A.M. Best reacted to the news by placing the A- (Excellent) ratings of both companies “under review” – PRI “with developing indications,” and Brit “with negative implications.” Best noted that “Brit has yet to make a formal offer and the rating will be maintained under review with negative implications pending full analysis of implications for BIL’s business plan and the effect on risk-adjusted capitalisation.”

The rating agency added that, “the status of under review with negative implications means the rating could be either downgraded or affirmed at the current level once the full analysis is finalised. In the event of a downgrade, A.M. Best believes the rating would be very unlikely to fall below the A- level.”

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