TEXT - S&P rates Equifax Inc snr unsecured notes 'BBB+'
Dec 11 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today assigned its 'BBB+' issue-level rating to Equifax Inc.'s proposed $500 million senior unsecured notes due 2022. The company intends to use the proceeds from the proposed notes as part of the funding for its $1 billion acquisition of Computer Sciences Corp.'s (BBB/Negative/A-2) credit services business assets and operations. The remainder of the acquisition funding will come from commercial paper issuance and cash on hand. We rate the new notes the same as the corporate credit rating on the company. The corporate credit rating and outlook are unaffected by the transaction (see our bulletin published on Dec. 3, 2012). While we expect pro forma leverage to modestly exceed 2x in fiscal 2012, we also expect the company to maintain its current financial policies and moderate share repurchases, and use free cash flow to reduce leverage to no more than 2x exiting 2013. Our ratings on Equifax are based on the company's "satisfactory" business risk profile, distinguished by its strong position in the global credit management and reporting industry and its consistent profit margins, and its "intermediate" financial profile, supported by its solid free cash flow generation and conservative financial policies. In addition, the stable outlook reflects Equifax's large recurring revenue base and "adequate" liquidity. RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH -- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012 -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 -- Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, 2009 -- Criteria Guidelines For Recovery Ratings, Aug. 10, 2009 -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008 -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Rating Each Issue, April 15, 2008 -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Ratios And Adjustments, April 15, 2008 Temporary contact number: Alfred Bonfantini (917-453-4670) RATINGS LIST Equifax Inc. Corporate Credit Rating BBB+/Stable/A-2 New Rating Equifax Inc. $500 Mil. Senior Unsec. Notes Due 2022 BBB+