Canadian Underwriter

Alea Group receives US$100 million to boost capital reserves

November 5, 2001   by Canadian Underwriter

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Switzerland-based reinsurer Alea Group Holdings will receive a cash injection of US$100 million by the end of the year from its majority investor Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR). A statement released by Alea says the amount received from KKR, a private equity management firm, is just the first part of a capital enhancement program the reinsurer intends to embark upon as conditions in the international reinsurance market continue to improve.
Alea Canada general manager Patrick King says the group is currently involved in discussions with several parties interested in investing in the company. Further deals can be expected before the yearend, he adds. King notes that the KKR cash injection will boost Alea’s capital and surplus to more than US$400 million. "We believe the group is in an enviable position worldwide and especially in Canada with a completely re-underwritten portfolio, excellent infrastructure, balance-sheet protection, and no equity or asbestosis/environmental exposures."
As a result of the KKR capital injection, rating agency Standard & Poor’s has removed Alea from a "credit watch" and "negative outlook" status, and reaffirmed the group’s "A" long-term financial strength rating. Alea was established in 1997 after KKR acquired Rhine Reinsurance Co. Ltd. from the Baloise Insurance Co. Ltd.

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