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Fitch Assigns BBB Rating to Quest's Senior Notes Offering

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fitch Ratings has assigned a BBB rating to the $1.2 billion senior notes offering announced today by Quest Diagnostics. 

Fitch also said the rating outlook is stable. It said in a statement that the refinancing will raise Quest's debt leverage this year to be temporarily elevated but that it anticipates the debt to be repaid and Quest's total debt balances to be reduced to about $3.8 billion by the end of the year. 

Quest said that it will use the proceeds from the offering to fund the purchase of up to $250 million in combined aggregate principal amount of its 6.95 percent senior notes due 2037 and its 5.75 percent senior notes due 2040. In addition, it intends to redeem all $500 million of its outstanding 5.45 percent senior notes due 2015; all $375 million of its outstanding 6.4 percent senior notes due 2017; and $150 million, or 50 percent, of its outstanding 3.2 percent senior notes due 2016.