24 May 2023Insurance

RenRe’s $3bn Validus deal: global status soars, but volatility looms

RenaissanceRe’s acquisition of Validus Re for $3 billion catapults its position in the global property and casualty (P&C) reinsurance market, placing it among the top five reinsurers. However, the strategic move is not without its challenges. Ratings agency  Moody’s has cautioned that the deal could lead to potential earnings and capital volatility stemming from substantial property catastrophe reinsurance exposures and reserve risks in long-tail casualty lines.

Moody’s has affirmed the A1 insurance financial strength (IFS) rating of RenaissanceRe, backing its agreement with American International Group (AIG) to acquire its treaty reinsurance business, including Validus Reinsurance, AlphaCat Managers and its managed funds, and the renewal rights to Talbot syndicate's assumed treaty reinsurance business. The rating outlook for RenaissanceRe is stable.

RenaissanceRe has agreed to acquire Validus Re for some $3 billion in cash. The company plans to fund the acquisition with a combination of equity, including $250 million of common shares issued to AIG, debt as well as cash on hand. The parties expect to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2023, pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Moody’s said the ratings reflect the company’s market leadership position in property-catastrophe reinsurance, strong analytic and modelling capabilities, and good capitalisation. The company’s well-diversified reinsurance portfolio also supports the rating, it said.

It added that the acquisition of Validus Re enhances RenaissanceRe’s position in the global P&C reinsurance sector, making it one of the top five reinsurers based on premium volume and increases its relevance to clients and brokers. RenaissanceRe also owns RenaissanceRe Capital Partners, a third-party capital platform that gives institutional investors access to the company’s underwriting expertise while providing RenaissanceRe with fee income and expanded underwriting capacity. AIG intends to make substantial investments in RenaissanceRe’s joint venture vehicles following the closing of the transaction.

However, offsetting these benefits are a number of challenges, including the potential for earnings and capital volatility arising from the company’s substantial property catastrophe reinsurance exposures, as well as the firm’s exposure to reserve risk from claims inflation in long-tail casualty reinsurance lines, warned Moody’s.

RenaissanceRe’s plan to issue debt to help fund the transaction is likely to increase the company’s consolidated adjusted financial leverage, and will increase the company’s financial leverage relative to tangible capital significantly given the goodwill resulting from the acquisition. Moody’s expects RenaissanceRe to reduce its leverage toward historical levels over the next several years through growth in retained earnings.

Did you get value from this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Elliot Field at or Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

22 March 2023   European Big 4 - Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re & SCOR – may not see much loss ratio relief.
11 January 2023   April and July renewal dates are certain to enjoy continued hard market conditions.