Fitch Ratings expects to assign a 'BBB-' rating to ING U.S., Inc.'s (ING
U.S.) $850 million planned issuance of 5.5% senior notes due 2022. The
transaction is expected to close on July 13, 2012.
The net proceeds of this offering will be used for general corporate
purposes, including repayment of amounts under the company's senior
unsecured credit facility. Pro forma financial leverage is expected to
remain near 30%.
Fitch maintains a Rating Watch Evolving status on all ratings, including
the Insurer Financial Strength ratings on ING U.S.'s life insurance
company subsidiaries. A full rating breakdown is provided at the end of
Fitch's Rating Watch Evolving is based on uncertainty over ING U.S.'s
pending change in ownership and concern over weakness in the company's
operating performance. Based on an agreement with the European
Commission, ING Group has agreed to divest its global insurance
operations by the end of 2013. Fitch expects that the divestiture of ING
U.S. will most likely occur via IPO.
Fitch expects to assign the following rating:
ING U.S., Inc.
--5.5% senior notes due July 15, 2022 at 'BBB-'; Rating Watch Evolving.
Fitch maintains the Rating Watch Evolving on the following ratings:
--Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) 'BBB'; Rating Watch Evolving.
ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company
ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
ReliaStar Life Insurance Co.
ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York
Security Life of Denver Insurance Company
--Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) 'A-'; Rating Watch Evolving.
Equitable of Iowa Companies, Inc.
--Long-term IDR 'BBB'; Rating Watch Evolving.
Equitable of Iowa Companies Capital Trust II
--8.424% Trust preferred stock 'BB'; Rating Watch Evolving.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and
therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Insurance Rating Methodology' (Sept. 22, 2011).
Insurance Rating Methodology
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Fitch RatingsPrimary Analyst, ING U.S.Tana M. Higman,
+1-312-368-3122DirectorFitch, Inc.70 W. Madison StreetChicago,
IL 60602orSecondary AnalystAndrew Davidson, CFA,
+1-312-368-3144Senior DirectororPrimary Analyst (ING
Verzekeringen and its subsidiaries) and Secondary Analyst (ING Group):Marc-Philippe
Juilliard, +33 (0)1 4429 91 37Senior DirectorFitch France,
60, rue de Monceau 75008 ParisorCommittee ChairpersonJames
Auden, +1-312-368-3146Managing DirectororMedia
RelationsBrian Bertsch, New York, +firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Fitch Ratings