Earlier this week, Aflac Inc. (AFL - Analyst Report) announced the pricing of long-term fixed rate notes worth $750 million in order to redeem the prior debt and gain capital flexibility.
Accordingly, this tranche of 10-year fixed rate senior notes worth $700 million is issued at a price of $100.00. Moreover, both the coupon rate and expected yield for the notes are pegged at 3.625%.
Further, Aflac has appointed Goldman Sachs & Co. of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS - Analyst Report), Mizuho Securities USA Inc. of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (MFG - Snapshot Report), Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC of Morgan Stanley (MS - Analyst Report), and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Analyst Report) as its joint book-running managers.
Meanwhile, management plans to use the proceeds from the sale of these notes to prepay Aflac’s 1.47% Samurai notes worth $347 million (28.7 billion yen) that is due in Jul 2014 along with its interest of 5.5 billion yen.
Additionally, Aflac plans to redeem long-term notes worth $300 million, bearing an interest of 3.45%, which are scheduled to mature in Aug 2015. The remaining amount of the proceeds is expected to inject ample liquidity over the next two years by utilizing funds for general corporate and capital purposes.
On the other hand, ratings agency A.M. Best has cast an “a-” debt rating on the issued notes with a stable outlook. Last month, the ratings agency had also reiterated its credit and insurance strength ratings on Aflac. A.M. Best remains confident about the company’s core operating strength.
Along with a strong brand name, Aflac enjoys a solid business model and healthy risk-based capitalization with reduced asset impairments. Healthy financial leverage and interest-coverage ratios also reflect a minimal risk exposure and strong solvency ratio.
While Aflac, Goldman and Morgan Stanley carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), JP Morgan and Mizuho Financial are pegged at Zacks rank #2 (Buy).