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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF AEGON N.V. (SENIOR DEBT AT Aa3) FOLLOWING CHANGE OF STATUS AND ACCOUNTING FOR THE NON-INSURANCE BUSINESS OF TRANSAMERICA; MAINTAINS NEGATIVE RATING OUTLOOK

24 Jul 2000
MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF AEGON N.V. (SENIOR DEBT AT Aa3) FOLLOWING CHANGE OF STATUS AND ACCOUNTING FOR THE NON-INSURANCE BUSINESS OF TRANSAMERICA; MAINTAINS NEGATIVE RATING OUTLOOK

Approximately $5.8 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.

Paris, July 24, 2000 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed Aegon NV's Aa3 senior unsecured debt rating, its A1 subordinated debt rating and its Prime-1 commercial paper rating. Transamerica Corporation's A1 senior debt rating, A2 junior subordinated and subordinated debt ratings, and "a1" preferred stock rating have also been confirmed, as well as the A1 senior debt rating of Commonwealth General Corporation. All these ratings continue to have a negative rating outlook.

In a separate press release, Moody's confirmed the ratings of Transamerica Finance Corporation at A3/Prime-1, with an uncertain outlook. Aegon group's other ratings were also confirmed, but with a stable outlook (see detailed list below).

These rating actions follow the announcement that Aegon NV has changed the status and accounting for the non-insurance business of Transamerica, which includes Transamerica Finance Corporation (TFC). This change results from Aegon not receiving what it considers "credible bids" for these units.

In confirming Aegon's ratings, Moody's commented that the group's decision to interrupt the divestiture process of TFC and the ensuing accounting consequences in Aegon's group accounts did not reflect a change of the overall operational and financial risk profile of the group. Furthermore, the rating agency said the integration of Transamerica's core insurance activities into Aegon's US operations was progressing smoothly and that TFC's financial performance remained adequate. Nevertheless, Moody's said that its negative rating outlook on Aegon since the Transamerica acquisition reflected uncertainties related to the acquisition price of TFC and the possibility for Aegon to sell these properties at an acceptable price and therefore, to reduce its increased financial leverage over the medium term.

At the same time, Moody's believes that TFC's position within the Aegon group is not strategic, since Aegon's strategic orientation toward being an insurance provider has not changed. Moody's expects that when the market for finance properties improves, Aegon will likely seek to divest TFC. Meanwhile, Aegon still has to service the debt incurred in the acquisition of TFC, which is adding to Aegon's relatively high leverage. As a result, in Moody's opinion and underpinning its negative rating outlook, Aegon's financial flexibility remains pressured and any significant additional deterioration could have negative ramifications on the group's current ratings.

The following ratings have been confirmed with a negative outlook:

Aegon NV- senior debt at Aa3, subordinated debt at A1 and commercial paper at Prime-1;

Aegon Funding Corp. - senior debt guaranteed by Aegon NV at Aa3 and US commercial paper guaranteed by Aegon NV at Prime-1;

Commonwealth General Corporation - senior debt at A1;

Transamerica Corporation - senior long-term debt at A1, subordinated and junior subordinated debt at A2, preferred stock at "a1";

Transamerica Capital I - Capital trust pass-through securities with a preferred stock rating of "a1";

Transamerica Capital II - Capital trust pass-through securities with a preferred stock rating of "a1";

Transamerica Capital III - Capital trust pass-through securities with a preferred stock rating of "a1";

Transamerica Delaware, L. P. - Monthly income preferred securities with a preferred stock rating of "a1".

The following ratings have been confirmed with a stable outlook:

AUSA Life Insurance Company, Inc. - insurance financial strength at Aa3 and short-term insurance financial strength at Prime-1;

Bankers United Life Assurance Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3;

Life Investors Insurance Company of America - insurance financial strength at Aa3;

Monumental Life Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3 and short-term insurance financial strength at Prime-1;

PFL Life Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3;

Peoples Benefit Life Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3, short-term insurance financial strength at Prime-1, and issuer rating at A1;

Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3 and short-term insurance financial strength at Prime-1;

Transamerica Life Insurance and Annuity Company - insurance financial strength at Aa3 and short-term insurance financial strength at Prime-1;

Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio - insurance financial strength at Aa3;

Scottish Equitable plc (Long-term Fund) - insurance financial strength at Aa2.

The following rating remains on review for possible upgrade:

Guardian Assurance plc - insurance financial strength at A2.

Aegon N.V., headquartered in The Hague, Holland, is an international provider of life insurance, pension and investment products and reported consolidated total assets of EUR229 billion and shareholders' equity of EUR 7.4 billion as of December 31, 1999.

London
Mark Hewlett
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Jean-Luc Lepreux
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's France S.A.
33 1 53 30 10 47

No Related Data.
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