AM Best

AM Best Downgrades and Withdraws Credit Ratings of Western Dental Services, Inc.


Bridget Maehr
+1 908 882 2080

Kenneth Frino
Managing Director
+1 908 882 1786
Christopher Sharkey
Associate Director, Public Relations
+1 908 882 2310

Al Slavin
Senior Public Relations Specialist
+1 908 882 2318


OLDWICK - JUNE 14, 2024 03:35 PM (EDT)
AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to B (Fair) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “bb+” (Fair) from “bbb” (Good) of Western Dental Services, Inc. (Western Dental) (Orange, CA). The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been revised to negative from stable, while the outlook of the FSR is stable. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn these ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in AM Best’s interactive rating process. This rating action serves as AM Best’s final rating update for Western Dental.

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Western Dental’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as adequate, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.  

Western Dental is a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Dental Services Inc. (PDS) and its ultimate parent is NMP III Continuation Fund, LP, a private equity group. Elevated financial leverage at PDS historically has had a negative impact on the ratings of Western Dental.

Prior to the withdrawals, the downgrade of the ratings is primarily due to the significant deterioration in risk-adjusted capitalization resulting from a $44 million net loss reported in 2023. The driver of the losses is a material decline in revenues as expenses have remained relatively flat. Net losses continued into 2024 with a reported loss of almost $10 million for the first quarter. The negative Long-Term ICR outlook reflects the uncertainty of near-term improvement in risk-adjusted capital given continued losses in 2024 and no capital contributions through the first quarter of 2024. Additionally, the financial condition of PDS has weakened placing pressure on Western Dental.     

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. 

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AMB# Company Name
064651 Western Dental Services, Inc.