ACE European Group Completes Transfer of Belgian Sub; Best, S&P Comment

January 18, 2005

ACE European Group confirmed that as of Jan.1, 2005 its belgian subsidiary, ACE Insurance S.A. N.V., has successfully transferred its insurance and reinsurance portfolio into ACE European Group Limited (AEG).

“ACE European Group Limited is now the principal operating platform for ACE’s Property and Casualty, Accident and Health and Personal Lines business across Europe,” the bulletin noted.

“This is a significant milestone in the ongoing development and expansion of ACE’s European business” stated Chairman and CEO Andrew Kendrick. “The establishment of ACE European Group Limited as our principal operating platform in Europe, makes the company one of the largest FSA regulated P&C carriers with licenses to operate in some 27 European countries and 39 US States. Through a combined strategy of broadening ACE’s geographical presence and product offerings across Europe, ACE European Group is well positioned to respond to the changing competitive environment of 2005.”

Following the transfer’s completion the rating agencies duly announced that they were withdrawing their ratings on ACE’s Belgian subsidiary. Best said simply that it has “assigned an NR-3 (Rating Procedure Inapplicable) following the scheduled transfer of all assets and liabilities from ACE Insurance S.A.-N.V. to ACE European Group Limited,” which it currently rates as “A” (Excellent).

S&P said it has withdrawn its “A+” long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on the company, which it considered as a core subsidiary of ACE Ltd. – rated “BBB+” on CreditWatch Negative; debt ratings “/A-2” – at the company’s request.

S&P confirmed that at the time of the rating withdrawal, the ratings on ACE Insurance S.A. – N.V. were on CreditWatch with negative implications, where they had been placed on Jan. 6, 2005, in line with the group’s other operating insurance companies. “The rating action follows the ACE group’s recent announcement that on Jan. 1, 2005, ACE Insurance S.A. – N.V. successfully transferred its insurance and reinsurance portfolio into ACE European Group Ltd.,” stated S&P credit analyst Marcus Rivaldi. “ACE European Group Ltd. is now the ACE group’s principal operating platform for property/casualty, accident and health, and personal lines business across Europe.”

S&P noted that the ACE European Group Ltd. (formerly ACE INA U.K. Ltd.) has been rated “A+”, but, as stated, it remains on CreditWatch with negative implications. S&P also observed that “client continuity has been ensured due to there being no change to management, underwriting, or the claims teams.”

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