A.M. Best Co. has assigned debt ratings of “bbb+” to the $250 million 3.625% senior unsecured notes due 2023 and the $250 million 5.0% senior unsecured notes due 2043, issued under the existing shelf registration of Markel Corporation (Markel) (Richmond, VA) [NYSE: MKL]. The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.
Markel will use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes for general corporate, including acquisitions.
After the close of the Alterra Capital Holdings Limited [NASDAQ: ALTE] transaction, which is expected in second quarter 2013, Markel’s total debt-to-capital ratio is projected to be at a manageable 27%, increasing to 34% when debt is measured to tangible equity. At December 31, 2012, Markel's stand-alone debt leverage was 28%. Markel’s financial leverage and coverage ratios remain within A.M. Best’s guidelines for its debt ratings.
At the holding company level, Markel will have pro-forma cash and investments in excess of $1.0 billion, affording it a significant level of liquidity.
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 www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
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