A.M. Best Comments on Credit Ratings of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. Following Proposed Acquisition of Gerber Life Insurance Company
September 18, 2018 by A.M. Best
OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best has commented that the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (WSFG) (Cincinnati, OH) is unchanged following the Sept. 17, 2018, announcement that WSFG has entered into an exclusive agreement under which it will acquire Gerber Life Insurance Company (White Plains, NY). The Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) of “a” on the $500 million existing senior unsecured debt notes due 2033 of WSFG also remains unchanged. The Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “aa” WSFG’s operating insurance subsidiaries also are unchanged following the announcement. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The purchase price of $1.55 billion will expand WSFG’s reach into the direct-to-consumer channel, and increase its life insurance penetration in the middle market segment. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2018, or at the latest, in the first quarter of 2019.
The acquisition of Gerber Life will not materially impact WSFG’s risk adjusted capitalization, which is assessed by A.M. Best at the strongest level. The transaction will enhance the shift toward lower-risk life insurance products with an attractive value proposition and create a more balanced life and annuity reserve profile. The Gerber Life brand is a highly recognized and trusted consumer brand and expands WSFG’s product profile into the juvenile life and guaranteed life markets with a moderate increase to WSFG’s business profile.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activityweb page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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