TEXT-Fitch rates MetLife's debt issuance 'A-'
Oct 1 - Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'A-' rating to MetLife, Inc.'s (MetLife) remarketing of $1 billion senior unsecured debentures, which consists of the following two tranches: --$500 million of 1.756% senior unsecured debentures that will be due 2017; --$500 million of 3.048% senior unsecured debentures that will be due 2022. The Rating Outlook on MetLife and its subsidiaries is Stable. The issuance represents the scheduled remarketing of the outstanding series C senior debt associated with the common equity units issued by MetLife in November 2010 as part of the financing of the acquisition of American Life Insurance Company and Delaware American Life Insurance Company. Proceeds of the remarketing will be used by the holders of the common equity units to settle stock purchase contracts associated with the units. Fitch expects the $1 billion of net proceeds realized by MetLife upon the settlement of the stock purchase contracts will be used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of upcoming debt maturities. Fitch's view of MetLife's financial leverage is not impacted by this transaction. The company's financial leverage ratio was 27% as of June 30, 2012. Fitch last affirmed MetLife's ratings on May 1, 2012. The affirmation of MetLife's ratings reflects Fitch's view that the company's recent financial performance and balance sheet fundamentals remain consistent with rating expectations. Key rating drivers that could lead to an upgrade of MetLife's ratings include NAIC risk-based capital ratio above 450%, financial leverage below 25%, and GAAP interest coverage ratio in the 8x-10x range. Key rating drivers that could lead to a downgrade of MetLife's ratings include NAIC risk-based capital ratio below 350%, financial leverage above 30%, and GAAP interest coverage ratio below 5x. Fitch has assigned the following ratings: MetLife, Inc. --1.756% senior unsecured debentures that will be due 2017 rated 'A-'; --3.048% senior unsecured debentures that will be due 2022 rated 'A-'. 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. 19, 2012). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Insurance Rating Methodology
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