Correction: Fitch Rates Trinity Acquisition plc's (Parent Willis Towers Watson, PLC) New Sr. Debt
OREANDA-NEWS. (This is a correction to a press release originally published on May 23, 2016. It corrects the issuer names for the existing debt ratings listed at the end of the release. It clarifies that the ratings on the 3.5% senior notes due 2021 and 4.4% senior notes due 2026 were issued by Trinity Acquisition plc and not Willis Towers Watson PLC as originally stated.)
Fitch Ratings has assigned a senior unsecured debt rating of 'BBB' to Trinity Acquisition plc's new issue of EUR540 million 2.125% senior notes due 2022. Trinity is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Willis Towers Watson, PLC (WLTW)). A full list of WLTW's ratings follows at the end of this release.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Trinity intends to use the net proceeds of the offering, together with existing cash resources, to repay amounts under WLTW's bridge-loan facility.
Fitch upgraded WLTW's ratings on Jan. 6, 2016 following the announcement that the merger of Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson & Co. (TW) was completed.
Key rating triggers that could result in a downgrade include a material near-term change in financial profile or operating performance of the combined company, a failure to maintain EBITDA-to-interest ratios of 7x or higher, an increase in financial leverage evidenced by debt/EBITDA above 2.5x, or a material goodwill impairment that casts doubt on the new entities' ability to generate future earnings and cash flows.
Key rating triggers that could result in an upgrade include realization and evidence of the benefits of the TW and Gras Savoye mergers with continuing improved margins and ultimate improvement in the debt-to-EBITDA ratio and EBITDA-to-interest ratios in line with higher rated peers.
FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS
Fitch has assigned the following ratings:
Trinity Acquisition plc
--EUR 540 million senior notes due 2022.
Fitch currently rates WLTW as follows:
Willis Towers Watson PLC (formerly Willis Group Holdings)
--Issuer Default Rating (IDR) 'BBB';
--4.125% senior unsecured notes due 2016 'BBB';
--5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2021 'BBB'.
Willis North America Inc.
--6.2% senior unsecured notes due 2017 'BBB';
--7.00% senior notes due 2019 'BBB'.
Trinity Acquisition plc
--IDR 'BBB' 'BBB-';
--4.625% senior unsecured notes due Aug. 15, 2023 'BBB';
--6.125% senior unsecured notes due Aug. 15, 2043 'BBB'.
--3.5% senior notes due 2021 'BBB';
--4.4% senior notes due 2026 'BBB'.
The Rating Outlook is Stable.