November 07, 2005 16:55 ET

A.M. Best Comments on Proposed Acquisition of Clarington by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

OLDWICK, N.J.--(CCNMatthews - Nov 7, 2005) -

A.M. Best Co. has commented that all ratings of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (IA) (Quebec, Canada) remain unchanged following the announcement that IA has made an offer to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Clarington Corporation, an independent wealth management company. The total transaction value is $273 million, which includes the assumption of $62 million of debt.

A.M. Best believes that the transaction is consistent with IA's goal of building additional scale in its wealth management segment. The addition of Clarington will increase retail fund assets under management to more than $10 billion CDN and provide a national platform for its wealth management segment.

A.M. Best expects that at the conclusion of this transaction, the overall leverage and coverage ratios will remain within the target range for the current ratings. IA expects to issue approximately $100 million of Tier 1 preferred shares to add to its capital structure. A.M. Best will assign a rating to these securities when they are issued. The transaction is expected to close in January 2006, subject to regulatory approval.

For Best's Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.

For current Best's Ratings, independent data and analysis on more than 1,100 individual life/health companies and A.M. Best groups, please visit www.ambest.com/lh.

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at http://www.ambest.com.

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