TEXT-S&P afrms, withdraws HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Vers. rtgs

Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:23am EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Jan 22 -

Overview

-- The merger of Hanover-based insurance company HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG with its sister company HDI Direkt Versicherung AG is complete.

-- We are affirming our 'A+' counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG and HDI Direkt Versicherung AG.

-- We are withdrawing the ratings on HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG at its request, because all its assets, liabilities, and business have been transferred to HDI Direkt Versicherung AG.

-- HDI Direkt Versicherung AG was renamed HDI Versicherung AG upon the completion of the merger, and we are maintaining our assessment of its group status as "core".

-- The stable outlook on HDI Versicherung AG reflects that of the core operating entities of Talanx Primary Insurance Insurance Group.

Rating Action

On Jan. 22, 2013, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'A+' counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Germany-based insurers HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG and HDI Direkt Versicherung AG.

We subsequently withdrew the ratings on HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG because all its assets, liabilities, and business have been transferred to HDI Direkt Versicherung AG, which has been renamed HDI Versicherung AG.

We view HDI Versicherung AG as a core member of the Talanx Primary Insurance Group (TPG; core operating entities rated A+/Stable/--). The outlook is stable.

Rationale

The merged entity HDI Versicherung AG remains core to TPG, as both HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG and HDI Direkt Versicherung AG were core operating subsidiaries of TPG prior to the merger.

In our view, the merger of the two entities and the rebranding mark no strategic change for TPG, but rather a step to restructure the German retail business, align the brand strategy, improve corporate governance, and reduce complexity. We understand that HDI Versicherung AG will offer non-life insurance within TPG's Retail Germany segment.

Outlook

The stable outlook on HDI Versicherung AG reflects that of TPG's core operating entities (see our full analysis on TPG, published Sept. 28, 2012.)

Ratings List

Ratings Affirmed; Ratings Withdrawn

To From

HDI-Gerling Firmen und Privat Versicherung AG

Counterparty Credit Rating NR A+/Stable/--

Financial Strength Rating NR A+/Stable/--

Ratings Affirmed

HDI Versicherung AG(formerly HDI Direkt Versicherung AG)

Counterparty Credit Rating A+/Stable/--

Financial Strength Rating A+/Stable/--

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