Arch to Acquire Ariel Re’s Credit and Surety Operations

Update: 4:16 p.m. EST

NU Online News Service, March 5, 12:00 p.m. EST

Hamilton, Bermuda-based insurer Arch Capital Group Ltd. says it will acquire Ariel Re’s Credit & Surety reinsurance operations based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Ariel Re’s Zurich-based team will transfer to the Zurich office of Arch Reinsurance Europe Underwriting Ltd (Arch Re Europe).

Arch says the teams will be “fully operational with immediate effect” to ensure “a seamless transition for service to both clients and intermediaries.”

The company went on to say that Ariel Re’s existing trade credit and surety portfolio will be reinsured by Arch Reinsurance Ltd. (Arch Re Bermuda), based in Bermuda.

Both Arch Re Europe and Arch Re Bermuda are rated "A-plus" by Standard & Poor’s.

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Terms of the transaction were not released.

Last week, Ariel Re’s insurance and reinsurance operations were acquired by Goldman Sachs. The group will operate as part of Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group.

Arch Capital, with more than $5 billion in capital as of the end of 2011, provides insurance and reinsurance on a worldwide basis through its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Late today, Standard & Poor's says its rating of Ariel Reinsurance Co. Ltd. was not affected by the sale. The "A-minus" rating was placed on credit watch negative on March 1 with the knowledge that a transaction of this sort was already being comtemplated, the rating service says.

This story was updated at 4:16 p.m. EST with S&P comments. 

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