Best Rates Everest Re’s Trust Preferred Securities ‘a-‘

March 26, 2004

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has assigned a debt rating of “a-” to the $280 million 6.20 percent due 2034 trust preferred securities recently issued by Everest Re Capital Trust II and guaranteed by Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc. (Delaware).

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has assigned a debt rating of “a-” to the $280 million 6.20 percent due 2034 trust preferred securities recently issued by Everest Re Capital Trust II and guaranteed by Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc. (Delaware).

Best also said it has “affirmed all existing debt ratings,” and indicated that the “financial strength rating of ‘A+’ (Superior) of the insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries of Everest Re Group Ltd. (Everest Re) (Bermuda) is unaffected by this action. The outlook for all ratings remains stable.”

Best’s announcement noted that “the issuance of these securities represents a draw down under Everest Re’s existing shelf filing. The net proceeds from the issuance will be used by Everest Re for general corporate purposes, which include capital contributions to Everest Re’s U.S. operating subsidiaries and potential future debt reductions. Following the issuance of these securities, Everest Re’s financial leverage–debt plus preferred securities as a percentage of total adjusted capital–remains in the mid 20 percent range, which is commensurate with its current debt ratings. A.M. Best will complete its annual review of Everest Re in the near term.”

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