A.M. Best Comments on Athene Holding Ltd. Acquisition of Aviva Life and Annuity Company

  A.M. Best Comments on Athene Holding Ltd. Acquisition of Aviva Life and
  Annuity Company

Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J. -- December 21, 2012

A.M. Best Co. has commented that the financial strength ratings of B++ (Good)
and issuer credit ratings of “bbb+” of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
(Athene Annuity) (Greenville, SC) are unchanged following Athene Holding
Ltd.’s (Athene) (Bermuda) Dec. 21, 2012, announcement that it had reached a
definitive agreement with to acquire Aviva Life and Annuity Company (ALAC)
(West Des Moines, IA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Aviva Life and Annuity
Company of New York (ALACNY) (Melville, NY) (together referred to as Aviva
USA) for $1.55 billion.

ALAC and ALACNY are currently the principal insurance subsidiaries of Aviva
USA Corporation, which is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva plc
(Aviva).

The transaction will add significant scale to Athene’s current annuity
platform and place it among the top annuity writers in the United States. The
company recently received a $621 million capital infusion from its parent in
anticipation of this transaction. In commenting on the ratings, A.M. Best
expects that the insurance operating companies of Athene Holding Ltd. will
maintain favorable risk-adjusted capital ratios, and so the transaction would
not have a significant impact on its financial strength.

While the acquisition of Aviva USA is consistent with Athene’s growth
strategy, the acquisition is very large and with it comes the challenges of
integration and branding. The impact of Aviva USA’s operating results and
risk-based capital requirements on the group will be closely monitored, as
will the ultimate structure of the transaction. If the transaction is deemed
to impact the financial flexibility of the insurance operating group, then
negative rating pressure may occur.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating
Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating
process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating
process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at
http://www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information,
visit www.ambest.com.

       Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contact:

A.M. Best Co.
Anthony McSwieney, 908-439-2200, ext. 5715
Senior Financial Analyst
anthony.mcswieney@ambest.com
or
William Pargeans, 908-439-2200, ext. 5359
Assistant Vice President
william.pargeans@ambest.com
or
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Senior Manager, Public Relations
rachelle.morrow@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com
 
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