Everest Re Holdings Completes Note Sale; Best, Fitch Assign Ratings

October 8, 2004

Everest Re Group, Ltd. announced that on October 6, 2004 its wholly-owned subsidiary, Everest Reinsurance Holdings, Inc. priced a public offering of $250 million of 5.40 percent Senior Notes due 2014, pursuant to its currently effective shelf registration statement.

The company said, “the net proceeds will be utilized to retire existing debt at Holdings, which is coming due in March 2005, as well as for general corporate purposes.”

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has assigned a debt rating of “a” to the notes. Chicago-based Fitch Ratings has assigned them an “A-” rating. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced on Thursday that it has assigned its “A-” debt rating to the notes (See IJ Website Oct.7). All the rating agencies have given the debt issue a stable outlook.

“The notes are being issued under the company’s existing shelf registration statement and subsequent to this issue, $405 million of shelf capacity will remain,” Best noted. “Following the new issuance, Everest Re’s financial leverage (including trust preferred securities) will be elevated into the upper 20 percent range until Everest Reinsurance Holdings retires its senior note due in early 2005. At that point, the financial leverage should drop to the low 20 percent range, which is well within A.M. Best’s expectations for Everest Re’s current debt ratings.”

Fitch indicated that Everest Re’s ratings “continue to be based on its competitive position in chosen markets, favorable recent operating performance, diversified underwriting portfolio in primary insurance and reinsurance markets, adequate capital position, and conservative investment portfolio.”

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