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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Assigns Issue Credit Ratings to Athene Holding Ltd.'s New Senior Unsecured Notes and Shelf Registration

[January 12, 2018]

A.M. Best Assigns Issue Credit Ratings to Athene Holding Ltd.'s New Senior Unsecured Notes and Shelf Registration

A.M. Best has assigned a Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) of "bbb" to the recently issued $1 billion 4.125% senior unsecured notes due 2028 for Athene Holding Ltd. (Athene) (Bermuda). Concurrently, A.M. Best has assigned indicative Long-Term IRs of "bbb" to senior unsecured debt, "bbb-" to subordinated debt, "bb+" to junior subordinated debt and "bb+" to preferred stock of the short-form base shelf prospectus filed by Athene on Jan. 3, 2018. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Athene's Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb" and the ratings of its operating insurance subsidiaries are unchanged.

The debt issuance will be used to maintain excess capitalization within the enterprise following the announcement of the company's agreement to acquire the individual fixed and fixed index annuity business from Voya Financial Inc. (Voya) via reinsurance. The in-force policies represent approximately $19 billion of account value as of June 30, 2017, which Athene will pay for with a $400 million ceding commission. This acquisition is part of a larger transaction which includes the sale of Voya's closed block variable annuity business to an investment consortium consisting of Apollo Global Management, Athene and other investors. This is Athene's first debt issuance and the company's adjusted financial leverage is exected to be modest at 10%, with strong interest coverage of approximately 36 times.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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