AM Best Places Credit Ratings Under Review With Various Implications for National Western Life Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries
October 17, 2023 by AM Best
OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a” (Excellent) of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC) (Centennial, CO). Concurrently, AM Best has placed under review with developing implications the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” (Excellent) of Ozark National Life Insurance Company (Ozark) (Kansas City, MO). In addition, AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the Long-Term ICR of “bbb” (Good) of National Western Life Group, Inc. (National Western) (headquartered in Austin, TX) [NASDAQ: NWLI], the parent holding company of NWLIC and Ozark.
The Credit Rating (rating) actions follow the announcement that National Western and S.USA Life Insurance Company, Inc. (S.USA), a subsidiary of Prosperity Life Group and PHG Merger Inc. (a subsidiary of S.USA) signed a definitive merger agreement whereby S.USA will acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of National Western, in an all-cash transaction of approximately $1.9 billion. The sale has been approved by National Western’s board of directors. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first half of 2024.
The ratings will likely remain under review with various implications pending completion of the acquisition, and until AM Best can complete its assessment of NWLIC’s and Ozark’s post-acquisition rating fundamentals and understand how the financing will impact the risk-adjusted and regulatory capital positions of each.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM 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 AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
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