A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Commerce Group (Commerce) (Webster, MA) and its members remain unchanged following the recent announcement that Commerce’s parent, The Commerce Group, Inc. (Commerce, Inc.) (Webster, MA) [NYSE:CGI] has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by MAPFRE S.A. (MAPFRE) (Spain). (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
Commerce and its operations will be acquired for a total purchase price of approximately $2.2 billion and merged into a U.S. subsidiary of MAPFRE. The transaction is expected to close in second quarter 2008 following the approvals of regulators and at least two-thirds of the common shareholders of Commerce, Inc.
Commerce is the leading writer of non-life personal insurance lines in Massachusetts, where it holds a 31.5% market share in personal automobile insurance. Commerce is also ranked as the 20th largest personal automobile insurance group in the United States based on 2006 direct premiums written. Commerce is currently involved in an expansion plan outside of Massachusetts and holds licenses in all 50 states, operating in 17.
The FSR of A+ (Superior) and the ICRs of “aa-“are unchanged for Commerce Group and its following members:
The Commerce Insurance Company
Citation Insurance Company (MA)
American Commerce Insurance Company
Commerce West Insurance Company
State-Wide Insurance Company
For Best’s Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.