AM Best


AUGUST 01, 2014 02:43 PM (EDT)

A.M. Best Upgrades and Removes From Under Review the Ratings of Continental Assurance Company


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Edward Kohlberg
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK - AUGUST 01, 2014 02:43 PM (EDT)
A.M. Best has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating to "a" from "a-"of Continental Assurance Company (CAC) (Chicago, IL). The ratings have been removed from under review with developing implications and assigned a stable outlook.

The removal of the under review status reflects the completion of Wilton Reassurance Company's acquisition of CAC from CNA Financial Corporation. Wilton Re Holdings Limited (Wilton Re) (Hamilton, Bermuda) is the ultimate parent of Wilton Reassurance Company.

During the first quarter of 2014, the ratings of CAC were placed under review with developing implications, following the announced intent by Wilton Re to acquire the company. On Aug. 1, 2014, Wilton Re closed the acquisition.

The rating upgrades reflect the financial strength and ability of Wilton Re to support CAC, if necessary. The transaction adds further scale to Wilton Re's liability profile and also contributes to the company's focus on managing run-off blocks of business. In addition, the acquisition is in line with Wilton Re's core administrative reinsurance capabilities.

Factors that may lead to positive rating actions include continued successful execution and integration of Wilton Re's profitable mortality reinsurance deals, which would enhance the scale and business profile of the new parent while maintaining solid risk-adjusted capitalization levels. Factors that may lead to negative rating actions include a material decline in CAC's capital, weakening of profitability or a change in its strategic importance to Wilton Re.

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.

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