Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised its outlook on W.R. Berkley Corp. and BER’s operating companies (collectively referred to as Berkley) to stable from negative.
Standard & Poor’s also said that it assigned its ‘BBB-‘ rating to BER’s proposed $200 million subordinated 40-year debenture issue to Berkley Capital Trust II and the trust preferred securities with identical terms issued by Berkley Capital Trust II.
In addition, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘BBB+’ counterparty credit rating on BER and its ‘A+’ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Berkley.
BER intends to use the net proceeds to redeem on or after Dec. 15, 2006, in whole or in part, its 8.197% junior subordinated debentures due 2045, with any remaining amount used for general corporate purposes.
“The revised outlook reflects our belief that the very strong earnings from BER’s well-diversified, strongly positioned subsidiaries and strong liquidity will continue to offset strong but below-rating-level capital adequacy and somewhat aggressive financial leverage,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Steven Ader.
In addition, there is modest potential that given prior-year reserve additions in the past three years and the long-tail profile of BER’s business, the profitability of the recently booked business might not be as strong as currently reported.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.