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Fitch affirms Johnson & Johnson ratings on Actelion deal

Fitch Ratings affirmed Johnson & Johnson's issuer default rating at AAA and short-term issuer default rating at F1+ with a stable ratings outlook.

The ratings action comes after the company confirmed plans to acquire Actelion Ltd. for $30 billion.

Fitch considers the transaction to be strategically sound as Johnson & Johnson will secure a number of approved and in-development therapies.

The rating agency expects the company to continue generating moderate top-line organic growth in the intermediate term despite encountering challenges during 2017 and beyond.

Fitch believes Johnson & Johnson will produce strong annual free cash flow during 2016 to 2017 of $7 billion to $8.5 billion. It expects the company will prioritize cash deployment for dividends, internal/external growth opportunities and for share repurchases.