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Moody's affirms ratings on AmerisourceBergen

Moody's affirmed AmerisourceBergen Corp.'s Baa2 senior unsecured rating and said the outlook on the rating was stable.

The rating agency said the affirmation is based on the expectation that the drug distributor will have $1.5 billion of free cash flow after paying annual dividends over the next three years.

According to Moody's, AmerisourceBergen will sustain moderate leverage and a significant operating scale over the next 12 to 18 months.

Additionally, the rating agency expects the company to have a practical approach toward acquisitions and share repurchases, as long as risks related to opioid litigation-related liabilities are clarified.

Under a proposed settlement in that litigation, AmerisourceBergen will pay $5.58 billion in cash over 18 years to resolve outstanding legal matters with cities, counties and states throughout the U.S.

Moreover, the company will provide product distribution and monitoring services over a 10-year period amounting to another $930 million, according to the office of North Carolina's attorney general.