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A.M. Best Assigns Preferred Stock and Debt Ratings, Affirms Financial Strength Ratings Following Initial Public Offering of Genworth Financial, Inc.



Business Editors

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2004

A.M. Best Co. has assigned a rating of "bbb" to the preferred stock Stock shares that have preferential rights to dividends or to amounts distributable on liquidation, or to both, ahead of common shareholders.

Preferred stock is given preference over common stock. Holders of preferred stock receive dividends at a fixed annual rate.
 offering and "a-" to the senior debt related to the company's issuance of equity units of Genworth Financial Genworth Financial is an international financial services organization that offers a portfolio of primarily consumer-focused products through its various companies, including annuities, combination products, investment services, life insurance, long term care insurance, medicare , Inc. (Genworth) (NYSE NYSE

See: New York Stock Exchange
: GNW GNW Genworth Financial (stock symbol)
GNW Good News Week (TV show)
GNW Great Northwest
GNW Great Northern War (1700-1721)
GNW Guns 'n' Wankers (band) 
) (Richmond, VA). Genworth is the new brand name of substantially all of GE's former life and mortgage businesses that went public on May 25, 2004. GE still maintains a majority ownership of the organization. A.M. Best has also assigned a financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) to River Lake Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genworth that funds XXX reserves for term policies issued by Genworth companies. All of the financial strength ratings of Genworth's other operating insurance companies have been affirmed. The preferred stock, debt and financial strength ratings all have stable outlooks. (See list below.)

Execution of the transaction and the business plan as envisioned presents a number of strategic benefits to Genworth. Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
, a significant source of new capital for its insurance operations now exists. Further, a greater strategic focus on those operations is provided, as its goals had become increasingly divergent di·ver·gent  
adj.
1. Drawing apart from a common point; diverging.

2. Departing from convention.

3. Differing from another: a divergent opinion.

4.
 from its parent's, and the competition for financial and other resources between Genworth and GE's other enterprises has been lessened.

A.M. Best believes that Genworth's new balance sheet has a manageable amount of leverage that can comfortably be serviced from the earnings generated by its operating insurance companies. It plans to operate at a level of debt-to-capital below 25%.

Genworth's brand has been established to ultimately provide it with an identity independent from its parent, while linking it to GE's heritage in order to benefit from existing awareness of its parent while this new brand achieves greater market awareness.

A.M. Best has assigned a debt rating of "bbb" on the $100 million preferred stock and "a-" on the $600 million senior debt related to the equity units of Genworth Financial, Inc.

The financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) has been assigned to River Lake Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial, Inc.

The financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) has been affirmed for the following subsidiaries of Genworth Financial, Inc.:

-- American Mayflower Mayflower, ship
Mayflower, ship that in 1620 brought the Pilgrims from England to New England. She set out from Southampton in company with the Speedwell,
 Life Insurance Company of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 

-- Federal Home Life Insurance Company

-- First Colony Life Insurance Company Founded by Edwin Horner in 1955, First Colony Life (FCL) grew from a local term life insurance company in Lynchburg, Virginia, specializing in impaired risk underwriting into a national provider of life insurance and annuity products.  

-- GE Capital Life Assurance Company of New York

-- GE Life and Annuity Assurance Company

-- General Electric Capital Assurance Company

The financial strength rating of A (Excellent) has been affirmed for the following subsidiaries of Genworth Financial, Inc.:

-- GE Group Life Assurance Company

-- Professional Insurance Company

A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at www.ambest.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 25, 2004
Words:460
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