FGIC Corp. said late Monday it is considering selling itself and has commenced talks with potential investors and other parties regarding strategic alternatives, and said it will reach a decision with the next few weeks.
The New York-based parent company of Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. said it lost $1.8 billion last year, and has hired Goldman Sachs to offer advice to reinforce the company's finances, according to a statement released by the company.
FGIC said other strategic alternatives it is exploring include raising capital for a newly established triple-A guarantor dedicated exclusively to the global public finance business. This company would also take over FGIC's existing public finance and international infrastructure business.
Moody's Investors Service slashed its credit rating on FGIC's bond-insurer units last month, to a cut above junk status, saying the company's is incapable of raising new capital among other reasons.
The most recent cuts come from Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, who cut their ratings to junk level.
S&P said that FGIC has failed to implement a strategic plan to re-establish itself as a viable operating entity.
The ratings agencies had raised similar concerns about MBIA and Ambac Financial, the two largest financial guarantors, but both companies reduced investor fears by raising significant capital and dividend cuts.
FGIC, which is owned by PMI Group Inc. and three private equity firms, said it is also considering reinsuring a big portion of its contracts and guaranteeing payments on about $315 billion in debt.
The Bermuda-based company said it expects to propose a deal to its board within the next few weeks.