Bermuda’s ACE Limited announced that, “subject to market conditions, its subsidiary, ACE INA Holdings Inc., intends to sell up to $300 million of senior notes. The notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed by ACE Limited.”
The net proceeds from the sale of the senior notes will be used to pay a portion of the purchase price for ACE’ s acquisition of Combined Insurance Company of America. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2008.
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services assigned its ‘A-‘ senior debt rating to the issue. Fitch Ratings said it “expects to assign an ‘A’ rating” to the issue, based on “ACE’s ‘A+’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR).
S&P explained that its rating action “follows ACE’s $2.4 billion acquisition of Combined Insurance Co. (Combined), which will be funded through ACE’s existing asset balance in the amount of $1.65 billion, a five-year $450 million bank loan syndication, and the issuance of unsecured 10-year senior notes of $300 million.” S&P added that “ACE’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) is strong and consistent with the rating.”
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