OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has assigned the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IRs) of “bbb” to the $1.5 billion 2.4% senior unsecured notes due 2030, $750 million 3.2% senior unsecured notes due 2040 and the $1.25 billion 3.4% senior unsecured notes due 2050 recently issued by Cigna Corporation (Cigna) (headquartered in Bloomfield, CT) [NYSE:CI]. Furthermore, AM Best has assigned indicative Long-Term IRs of “bbb” to senior unsecured debt and “bb+” to preferred shares under the recently filed shelf registration. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. The existing ratings of Cigna and its subsidiaries are unchanged (see related press release).
The proceeds of the recent $3.5 billion of aggregate debt, issued on March 4, 2020, will be used to redeem/tender upcoming 2021, 2022 and 2023 higher coupon issues.
Cigna maintains high financial leverage of approximately 47%, including the current debt issues, and a high level of goodwill and intangibles – the increase in both metrics primarily was related to the Cigna-Express Scripts Inc. acquisition. However, Cigna has moderated its leverage post transaction, which was over 50%, and Cigna remains committed to an accelerated deleveraging during 2020, which is expected to leave financial leverage closer to 40% by the end of the year. AM Best expects financial deleveraging to be driven by the strong earnings and dividends from Cigna’s insurance entities, solid nonregulated earnings from its health services segment and additional one-time capital sources, such as a portion of the proceeds from the pending sale of its group employee benefits business, which is expected to help reduce outstanding debt.
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