|[January 23, 2013]
A.M. Best Places Ratings of Sequoia Insurance Company and Subsidiaries Under Review
OLDWICK, N.J. --(Business Wire)--
A.M. Best Co. has placed under review with positive implications
the financial strength rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit
ratings (ICR) of "a-" of Sequoia Insurance Company and its wholly
owned subsidiary, Sequoia Indemnity Company, collectively
referred to as Sequoia.
Concurrently, A.M. Best has placed under review with developing
implications the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICR of "a-" of Personal
Express Insurance Company (Personal Express), a subsidiary of
Sequoia. All companies are headquartered in Monterey, CA (News - Alert).
The under review status for all three companies follows the announcement
that Sequoia's immediate parent, Strongwood Insurance Holdings
Corporation (Strongwood), has entered into a definitive agreement under
which it will sell Sequoia and Personal Express to AmTrust Financial
Services, Inc. (headquartered in New York, NY) [NASDAQ:AFSI].
The under review with positive implications status for Sequoia reflects
the potential benefits it is expected to derive from being part of the
AmTrust enterprise, with access to additional financial and managerial
resources. The under review with developing implications status for
Personal Express reflects A.M. Best's uncertainty of AmTrust's future
strategic plans for the company given that AmTrust does not currently
write personal lines business.
The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013,
pending regulatory approval. The ratings will remain under review until
the transaction closes and A.M. Best's analysis is completed.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit
Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M.
Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria
employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be
found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more
information, visit www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS
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