Assured Guaranty to Buy CIFG Holding for $450 Million in Cash

  • Company adds $5.6 billion to insured portfolio, boosts capital
  • The acquisition is the third for Assured Guaranty since 2009

A subsidiary of bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd. agreed to acquire CIFG Holding Inc. in a $450 million cash transaction that will add $5.6 billion to the company’s insured portfolio.

The deal, expected to be completed mid-year, would have Assured Guaranty Corp. assume the assets and obligations of CIFG Assurance North America Inc., according to a company statement released Wednesday. Assured estimates the transaction will increase 2016 statutory capital by $300 million to $325 million. All CIFG bonds will take Assured’s financial strength rating of AA from Standard & Poor’s.

The acquisition is the third since 2009 by Assured, which was the only bond insurer that continued to conduct new business after the financial crisis stripped the industry of their top credit grades. The company purchased Financial Security Assurance Inc. seven years ago and last year absorbed Radian Asset Assurance Inc.

“The acquisition will strengthen Assured Guaranty’s franchise by adding a solid book of business that is consistent with our strategic objectives,” said Dominic Frederico, president and chief executive of Assured Guaranty.

Municipal bond insurers have been in the spotlight as Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis escalates. CIFG has limited exposure to the commonwealth’s $70 billion of debt. It backs about $164 million of Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority obligations, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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