Fitch Ratings downgraded Dublin-based Cardinal Health Inc.'s long-term issuer default rating to BBB from BBB+.
The outlook on the rating is stable.
In addition, the rating agency affirmed Cardinal's short-term issuer default rating at F2.
Fitch said the downgrade mainly represents the agency's expectation that the company's leverage will remain high for the BBB+ rating category for an extended period of time.
The agency stated that the high leverage is due to Cardinal's $6.1 billion acquisition of Medtronic PLC's patient care, deep vein thrombosis and nutritional insufficiency business, as well as from lower earnings tied to weaker performance from the pharmaceutical segment and increased regulatory and litigation expenses.