CNO upgraded by S&P after divesting insurance unit

CNO Financial Group Inc. was upgraded by Standard & Poor’s after the Carmel-based company completed the sale of a life insurance unit that was no longer issuing policies.

The grade was lifted to BB+ from BB because the divestiture Conseco Life Insurance Co., or CLIC, to Wilton Reassurance Co. decreased earnings volatility, “creating less stress on the group to provide capital infusions,” the ratings firm said Wednesday in a prepared statement.

CNO disclosed Tuesday that it had closed on the sale of CLIC for net proceeds of about $220 million.

"The sale of CLIC marks a significant milestone for CNO," said CEO Ed Bonach in a prepared statement. "This transaction reduces the go-forward risk profile of the company and will allow management to focus on our core businesses serving the needs of the fast-growing and underserved middle market."

CNO shares rose 7 cents Wednesday morning, to $18.06 each.


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