A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to New Senior Notes of ING U.S., Inc.
OLDWICK, N.J. -- February 7, 2013
A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “bbb” to the recent issuance of
$1.0 billion 2.90% five-year senior unsecured notes of ING U.S., Inc. (ING
U.S.) (headquartered in New York, NY). ING U.S. is currently the holding
company for the U.S. operations of ING Groep N.V. (ING Group) (Netherlands)
(NYSE: ING). The assigned outlook is stable.
The rating recognizes ING U.S.’ strong market position in the life insurance
and retirement markets, profitable operating results and sound level of
risk-adjusted capital. Although historically supported by its European parent,
A.M. Best notes that ING Group has filed with the SEC for an initial public
offering (IPO) of its U.S.-based retirement, insurance and investment
operations during 2013.
The assigned rating also reflects A.M. Best’s expected completion of this
process, which will demonstrate ING U.S.’ ability to successfully execute its
capital plans. The new senior notes, together with the $850 million 5.5%
10-year notes issued in July 2012 and proceeds from the anticipated IPO,
should facilitate ING U.S. achieving its targeted independent capital
structure. As such, ING U.S.’ financial leverage and interest coverage are
expected to fall within A.M. Best’s guidelines for its current ratings. The
proceeds from the new senior notes will be used for general corporate
purposes, including the repayment of outstanding borrowings.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is ING U.S.’ ongoing
exposure to both equity markets and interest rates through product guarantees,
spread compression as well as its material holdings of below investment grade
structured securities and commercial mortgage loans. Additionally, the
inherent uncertainty surrounding the timing and execution of the IPO process
could negatively affect the group’s business profile with respect to products,
customers, distribution and market positions, in addition to having an
unfavorable effect on leverage and interest coverage metrics.
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
Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information,
Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
A.M. Best Co.
Ken Johnson, CFA, CTP, 908-439-2200, ext. 5056
Managing Senior Financial Analyst
Andrew Edelsberg, CPA, 908-439-2200, ext. 5182
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
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