A.M. Best Co. has assigned a debt rating of “bbb+” to the newly issued $265 million 5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2023 of The Navigators Group, Inc. (Navigators) (New York, NY) [NASDAQ: NAVG]. The outlook assigned is stable. Navigators’ existing financial strength, issuer credit and debt ratings are unchanged.
Navigators intends to use a portion of the proceeds to immediately retire its $115 million par value 7.0% senior unsecured notes, which are due on May 1, 2016. The balance of the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.
While Navigators’ financial leverage ratio will be temporarily increased from its historical norms upon issuance, the impact on financial leverage is expected to improve in the short term given Navigators’ plans to retire the 2016 debt immediately. Navigators’ financial leverage and interest coverage ratios remain well within A.M. Best guidelines for its current rating even during the brief period when both debt issues are outstanding.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.