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Aflac Global Investments Announces Strategic Partnership with Varagon Capital Partners, L.P.

Press Release from AFLAC - West

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac Global Investments, the asset management subsidiary of Aflac Incorporated, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a significant non-controlling minority interest in Varagon Capital Partners, L.P. (Varagon), a direct lending asset manager that has made over $14.5 billion of financing commitments as of December 31, 2019. In addition, Aflac Global Investments is making a multi-year commitment to build a portfolio of up to $3.0 billion of middle market loans on behalf of Aflac Japan and Aflac U.S., subject to additional terms and conditions.

Aflac Incorporated Executive Vice President, Global Chief Investment Officer and President of Aflac Global Investments Eric M. Kirsch commented: "We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Varagon as part of our growth strategy for Aflac Global Investments. This investment supports our strategic asset allocation and leverages our external management platform to create enhanced value for Aflac and our stakeholders. It allows us to diversify our revenue streams and participate in the growth of a leading asset manager in an important and growing segment of the private markets. Middle market loans are a strategically important asset class for Aflac, as is the ability to leverage our capital to grow a quality asset management franchise."

"Varagon is very pleased to establish this strategic partnership with Aflac Global Investments," said Walter J. Owens, Varagon's CEO. "We appreciate the recognition of our expertise as an asset manager. This partnership will allow us to further build on our proven broad-based direct origination capability and rigorous underwriting process while meeting the needs of our borrowers for proprietary middle market corporate loans."

Bradley E. Dyslin, Aflac Global Investments senior managing director, global head of credit and strategic investment opportunities and co-head of the external manager platform, commented: "Varagon shares our core investment principles, which are grounded in deep fundamental credit research. They have built a strong platform based on thoughtful and disciplined credit underwriting standards consistent with our investment philosophy. We are thrilled to partner with their expertise as we build toward our long-term strategic asset allocation for private direct lending through a tactical approach across market cycles."

The transaction does not have a material impact on Aflac Incorporated's recently articulated 2020 capital deployment plans or overall capital and liquidity position and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary regulatory and other closing terms.

Rothschild & Co served as financial advisor, and Debevoise & Plimpton as legal advisor, to Aflac Global Investments. Wells Fargo Securities served as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell served as legal advisor to Varagon.

ABOUT AFLAC INCORPORATED
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. Fortune magazine has recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years and in 2019 Fortune included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 18th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com. Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

ABOUT AFLAC GLOBAL INVESTMENTS
Aflac Global Investments refers to Aflac Asset Management LLC and Aflac Asset Management Japan Ltd., which are the asset management subsidiaries of Aflac Incorporated. Aflac Global Investments is responsible for managing the invested assets of Aflac Incorporated's insurance subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S. As of September 30, 2019, Aflac Global Investments managed more than $120 billion in general account assets and had 125 investment and support professionals who work at its offices in New York and Tokyo.

ABOUT VARAGON CAPITAL PARTNERS
Varagon Capital Partners is an asset manager focused on direct lending to middle market companies. Varagon invests across the capital structure and offers flexible financing solutions to meet the needs of borrowers and their private equity sponsors. Varagon manages funds and accounts on behalf of institutional investors that desire exposure to high-quality, directly-originated middle market loans. As of December 31, 2019, Varagon had made over $14.5 billion of financing commitments to over 180 companies. For more information about Varagon, visit www.varagon.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The company desires to take advantage of these provisions. This press release contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "goal," "objective," "may," "should," "estimate," "intends," "projects," "will," "assumes," "potential," "target," "outlook" or similar words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

The company cautions readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements:


  • events related to the ongoing Japan Post investigation
  • difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy
  • exposure to significant interest rate risk
  • concentration of business in Japan
  • foreign currency fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate
  • limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments
  • U.S. tax audit risk related to conversion of the Japan branch to a subsidiary
  • deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions
  • ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems
  • competitive environment and ability to anticipate and respond to market trends
  • ability to protect the Aflac brand and the Company's reputation
  • ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates, brokers, employees, and distribution partners
  • interruption in telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems
  • failure to comply with restrictions on patient privacy and information security
  • extensive regulation and changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities
  • tax rates applicable to the Company may change
  • defaults and credit downgrades of investments
  • decline in creditworthiness of other financial institutions
  • significant valuation judgments in determination of amount of impairments taken on the Company's investments
  • subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to the Parent Company
  • decreases in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings
  • inherent limitations to risk management policies and procedures
  • concentration of the Company's investments in any particular single-issuer or sector
  • differing judgments applied to investment valuations
  • ability to effectively manage key executive succession
  • catastrophic events including, but not necessarily limited to, epidemics, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, war or other military action, terrorism or other acts of violence, and damage incidental to such events
  • changes in accounting standards
  • increased expenses and reduced profitability resulting from changes in assumptions for pension and other postretirement benefit plans
  • level and outcome of litigation
  • allegations or determinations of worker misclassification in the United States

Aflac Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Aflac)

Analyst and investor contact - David A. Young, 706.596.3264, 800.235.2667 or dyoung@aflac.com

Media contact - Jon Sullivan, 706.763.4813; FAX: 706.320.2288 or jsullivan@aflac.com

For Varagon:

Varagon Investor Relations – Noelle Barcenas/Deborah Reich, +1-212-235-2637 or investors@varagon.com

Media Contacts: Gasthalter & Co. – Nathaniel Garnick/Amanda Klein +1-212-257-4170 or varagon@gasthalter.com

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