Fitch Upgrades PacifiCare Following Acquisition by UnitedHealth Group.
Fitch placed the ratings of PacifiCare on Rating Watch Positive on July 7, 2005, following the announcement of the acquisition. UNH (senior debt rated 'A'; Outlook Stable by Fitch) is a leading health care services company with total medical membership of 23.5 million.
Today's rating action reflects Fitch's view that the acquisition by UNH has significantly improved PacifiCare's financial position and will enhance its operating profile. PacifiCare's previous ratings were based, in part, on the company's comparatively weaker balance sheet fundamentals and limited business profile.
The following ratings are withdrawn by Fitch:
PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc.:
-- 10.75% senior unsecured notes due 2009;
-- Bank loan.
The following ratings are upgraded from 'BB+' to 'A' by Fitch, with a Stable Outlook:
-- Long-term issuer.
The following rating is upgraded from 'BB' to 'A-' by Fitch, with a Stable Outlook:
-- 3% convertible subordinated debentures 'BB'.