OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has assigned Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings of “bbb+” to the $300 million 3.50% senior unsecured notes due 2027 and the $300 million 4.30% senior unsecured notes due 2047 issued by Markel Corporation (Markel) (Glen Allen, VA) [NYSE: MKL]. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. The existing ratings of Markel and its subsidiaries are unchanged.
A.M. Best expects the proceeds from this offering to be used by Markel for general corporate purposes. Following these issuances, A.M. Best expects Markel’s debt-to-total capital ratio to increase moderately but remain within the guidelines for the assigned ratings. However, debt-to-tangible capital ratio will be elevated by an increase in goodwill plus intangible assets associated with recent acquisitions, including the recently announced acquisition of State National Companies, Inc. [NASDAQ: SNC], which is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter. However, concerns regarding the increase in goodwill plus intangibles as a percentage of both total equity and capital are offset by the solid cash flows associated with the businesses acquired, Markel’s strong overall liquidity evidenced by significant parent-only cash and marketable securities, and its long-term success in executing and integrating acquired insurance and non-insurance entities.
Although overall earnings and the interest coverage ratio has been negatively impacted by the increase in the frequency and severity of catastrophe losses reported through the third quarter of 2017, Markel historically has generated solid interest coverage ratios, which A.M. Best anticipates will return to more historical levels over the near-term.
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