Moody’s has assigned a Baa1 rating to $600 million of 30-year senior unsecured notes being issued by Marsh & McLennan Companies, off its multi-purpose shelf registration.
MMC intends to use net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes. The rating outlook for Marsh & McLennan is unchanged at positive.
MMC’s ratings reflect its position as:
- the world’s largest insurance brokerage and consulting firm by revenue;
- its diversification across clients, products and regions;
- its expertise in providing complex risk and human resources solutions to global, national and middle market accounts;
- its long record of profitable growth. Partly offsetting these strengths are MMC’s sizable debt burden, integration risk associated with acquisitions, and potential liabilities arising from errors and omissions in the delivery of professional services.
Moody’s expects that MMC will maintain a debt-to-EBITDA ratio in the range of 2.5x-2.8x, with interest coverage in the high single digits, and a free-cash-flow-to-debt ratio in the double digits.
MMC continues to grow its revenue, earnings and free cash flow across its four main businesses and in major markets around the world.
The company maintains solid credit metrics while allocating available cash first to dividends and select acquisitions and then to share buybacks.
MMC reported strong organic revenue growth of 9% in 2022, including organic growth of 8% at Marsh, 9% at Guy Carpenter, 6% at Mercer and 13% at Oliver Wyman.
The firm maintained healthy operating margins overall and in each major segment. Moody’s expects the organic growth to slow over the next year based on weaker global economic growth.
FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATING
The following factors could lead to a rating upgrade for MMC:
- (i) debt-to-EBITDA ratio consistently below 2.8x,
- (ii) (EBITDA – capex) coverage of interest consistently above 8x,
- (iii) net profit margin consistently above 10%.
The following factors could lead to a stable rating outlook for MMC:
- (i) debt-to-EBITDA ratio above 2.8x,
- (ii) (EBITDA – capex) coverage of interest below 8x,
- (iii) net profit margin below 10%.
Based in New York City, MMC is a global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people to clients in over 130 countries.
The company operates in two business segments across four major brands: Risk and Insurance Services (Marsh and Guy Carpenter) and Consulting (Mercer and Oliver Wyman).
The firm generated revenue of $20.7 billion and net income attributable to MMC of $3.1 billion in 2022. MMC reported total assets of $33.5 billion and total equity of $10.7 billion as of December 31, 2022.
by Bruce Ballentine – VP-Sr Credit Officer Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service