A.M. Best Co. has assigned debt ratings of “a” to the $475 million 2.7% senior unsecured notes due 2023 and the $475 million 4.15% senior unsecured notes due 2043 that were recently issued by ACE INA Holdings, Inc. (ACE INA), a subsidiary of ACE Limited (ACE) (Zurich, Switzerland) [NYSE: ACE], the guarantor of the notes. The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.
ACE INA intends to use the net proceeds from both offerings plus, if necessary, any available cash, to repay at maturity $500 million of its 5.875% senior notes maturing in June 2014 and $450 million of its 5.60% senior notes maturing in May 2015. Based on the gross proceeds of $950 million, financial leverage and coverage measures are expected to remain within A.M. Best’s guidelines for the assigned ratings. The existing ratings of ACE and its subsidiaries are unchanged.
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. Key criteria utilized include: “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies” and “Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings.” Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology
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