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Fitch Ratings Puts Atlantic Mutual on Rating Watch.

Business Editors

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 5, 2003

Fitch Ratings today placed the 'BBB-' insurer financial strength rating of Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company (ASIC) on Rating Watch Positive. Fitch also placed the 'BBB-' insurance ratings of the other Atlantic Mutual Companies (AMC) and the 'BB-' surplus note rating of Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company on Rating Watch Negative.

The rating actions follow announcements that AMC will sell the renewal rights to its commercial business to OneBeacon Insurance Company (OneBeacon). As part of the transaction, OneBeacon will acquire the unearned premium on the acquired book of business and ASIC.

The Rating Watch Positive on ASIC reflects its acquisition by a higher rated entity, OneBeacon, whose insurer financial strength is rated 'A' by Fitch.

The Rating Watch Negative on the other AMC ratings recognizes that with this sale, and an earlier sale of AMC's marine book of business, AMC has now disposed of 65% to 75% of its premium base. Going forward, Fitch believes that AMC's ability to achieve expense reductions commensurate with these premium reductions will be critical. Equally critical will be AMC's ability to retain and grow its remaining personal lines business.

In resolving the Rating Watch, Fitch expects to monitor AMC's progress in reducing its expense base, and in retaining and growing its remaining business.

 The changes to AMC's ratings are listed below:

 Entity/Issue/Type Action Rating/Outlook

 Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company
 -- Insurer Financial Strength 'BBB-'
 -- Rating Watch Placed on Positive.
 Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company
 -- Insurer Financial Strength 'BBB-'
 -- Surplus Note 'BB-'
 -- Rating Watch Placed on Negative.
 Centennial Insurance Company
 Atlantic Lloyd's Insurance Company of Texas
 -- Insurer Financial Strength 'BBB-'
 -- Rating Watch Placed on Negative.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 5, 2003
Words:276
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