A.M. Best Assigns Debt Rating to New Senior Unsecured Notes of ING U.S.,
OLDWICK, N.J. -- July 24, 2013
A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “bbb” to the recently issued $400
million 5.70% senior unsecured notes, due 2043 of ING U.S., Inc. (ING U.S.)
(headquartered in New York, NY). The notes were issued in a 144A private
placement and guaranteed by Lion Connecticut Holdings, Inc. The assigned
outlook is stable. ING U.S., which plans to be rebranded as Voya Financial,
completed its initial public offering (IPO) in early May, and trades on the
New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “VOYA.”
ING U.S. intends to use the note proceeds for general corporate purposes
including the repayment of intercompany borrowings. Following the May 2013
IPO, ING Groep N.V.’s (ING Group) (Netherlands) ownership of ING U.S. was
reduced to approximately 71%.
The rating recognizes ING U.S.’ strong market position in the life insurance
and retirement markets, profitable operating results and its sound level of
risk-adjusted capital. The assigned rating also reflects A.M. Best’s favorable
view of ING U.S. management’s execution on its capital plans. Over the last 12
months, ING U.S. has issued $2.6 billion of senior notes and hybrid
securities, while raising approximately $1.5 billion from the IPO of which
about $600 million was retained by ING U.S. These transactions have enabled
ING U.S. to ladder its debt maturities and take advantage of the lower cost of
funds. ING U.S.’ financial leverage and earnings before interest and taxes
interest coverage remain within A.M. Best’s guidelines for its current
ratings. Moreover, ING U.S.’ financial flexibility has been enhanced as the
ordinary dividend capacity of the insurance operating companies was recently
restored. A.M. Best notes that ING Group has until the end of 2016 to complete
the sale of its ownership in ING U.S.
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
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 © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
A.M. Best Co.
Ken Johnson, CFA
Managing Senior Financial Analyst
908-439-2200, ext. 5056
Andrew Edelsberg, CPA
908-439-2200, ext. 5182
Senior Manager, Public Relations
908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
908-439-2200, ext. 5644
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