A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to Manulife's Preferred Shares.
The merger plan requires the approval of the voting policyholders of Manulife, Maritime Life and MFC Insurance, and the preferred shareholders of Maritime Life. In addition, The Minister of Finance for Canada and the Superintendent of Financial Institutions must approve the merger. If approved, the merger is scheduled to take place on December 30, 2004.
The merger would result in certain changes to Maritime Life's outstanding securities, which include the redemption of two series' of preferred stock. Manulife will make a securities exchange offer to holders of the $100 million principal amount Second Preferred Shares, Series 3 of Maritime Life. The new preferred shares of Manulife will have identical economic terms and will be offered for each outstanding Series 3 share. The debt ratings of Maritime Life's preferred shares were raised to "a+" on April 28, 2004, with the completion of the merger between Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., which was the ultimate parent of Maritime Life.
The rating reflects Manulife's established presence in multiple markets, robust profitability from its geographically diversified businesses, conservative reserving practices and superior capitalization.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 19 countries and territories worldwide, maintaining a strong franchise in Canada, the United States and Asia.
A.M. Best believes the consistent flow of earnings from Manulife's core businesses is sustainable and provides ample liquidity to strongly support its long-term debt service capabilities. Manulife's operational and geographic diversification, as well as its solid position in numerous markets, has somewhat insulated it from wide fluctuations in revenues and earnings. As of June 30, 2004, Manulife Financial Corporation reported funds under management of CAD 360.2 billion.
For a list of A.M. Best's debt ratings, please visit http://www.ambest.com/debt.
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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|Date:||Sep 17, 2004|
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