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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS FSA's INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING FOLLOWING ANNOUNCED SALE TO CREDIT LOCAL DE FRANCE (CLF)

14 Mar 2000
MOODY'S CONFIRMS FSA's INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING FOLLOWING ANNOUNCED SALE TO CREDIT LOCAL DE FRANCE (CLF) Moody's Investors Service confirmed the Aaa insurance financial strength rating of Financial Security Assurance, Inc. (FSA) following the announcement that its parent company, Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. (FSA Holdings), will be acquired by Aa1-rated Cr‚dit Local de France (CLF), a member of the Dexia Group, Europe's largest municipal lender. At the same time, Moody's placed FSA Holdings' Aa2 senior unsecured debt rating on review for possible upgrade. Moody's will comment separately on the implications of the planned transaction for CLF and the other members of the Dexia Group.

FSA Holdings and the Dexia Group announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement providing for the acquisition of FSA Holdings for $76.00 per share in cash, or approximately $2.6 billion. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to FSA Holdings' shareholder and regulatory approvals. The companies expect to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2000.

In confirming FSA's rating, Moody's noted that both FSA and the Dexia Group benefit from low risk profiles and strong capital bases. Furthermore, as the leading lender to European local governments, the Dexia Group is well positioned to enhance FSA 's competitiveness in international markets. Dexia plans to maintain FSA's current management, underwriting standards and business strategy.

If, as expected, the companies obtain shareholder and regulatory approvals, Moody's will upgrade FSA Holdings rating from Aa2 to Aa1, which is the rating carried by CLF's senior unsecured debt.

Financial Security Assurance Holdings, Ltd. is a U.S. insurance holding company that engages primarily in the business of financial guaranty insurance through its main operating subsidiary, Financial Security Assurance, Inc. FSA is rated Aaa for insurance financial strength, as are its insurance subsidiaries - Financial Security Assurance (U.K.) Limited and Financial Security Assurance International Ltd. - both of which benefit from the group's resources via intercompany pooling arrangements or specific agreement of support. Moody's has confirmed the Aaa ratings of these operating insurers. At year-end 1999, FSA Holdings had $2.9 billion in total assets, and FSA had $130 billion in total net par insured outstanding.

The Dexia Group is active in (i) municipal lending and public service finance globally, but mainly in Europe, (ii) retail banking in Belgium and Luxembourg, and (iii) asset management, private banking and fund administration in Europe. Dexia was formed in 1996 following the alliance between Cr‚dit Local de France and Cr‚dit Communal de Belgique, respectively the leading lenders to French and Belgian territorial communities. Dexia has an overall market share of European public sector finance of 15%. Another significant operating bank in the Dexia Group is Banque Internationale … Luxembourg, which is developing the group's private banking, asset management and fund administration business. Cr‚dit Local de France is headquartered in Paris, France. At June-end 1999, the institution had total assets of  ¬121 billion. The Dexia Group's consolidated assets amounted to  ¬232 billion at June-end 1999.

No Related Data.
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