Moody's and Standard & Poor's assign first ratings to RTL Group
Luxembourg, 1 June 2001. - RTL Group today announces its first credit ratings from the two leading rating agencies, Moody's and Standard and Poor's. Moody's has assigned to RTL Group a short-term rating of P2 and a long-term issuer rating of A3, while Standard & Poor's has assigned a short-term rating of A-2 and a long-term rating of single-A-minus, with stable outlook. The short-term ratings have been assigned in advance of the EUR 1 billion euro commercial paper programme, to be launched by RTL Group in the next weeks.
The ratings reflect RTL Group's strong position in several European television markets, its complementary radio activities, a well-established production business as well as benefits resulting from domestic and cross-border families of channels and scale. They further reflect the Group's current levels of profitability and cash flow generation, and the expectation that the funding of further growth will be consistent with a relatively conservative financial profile.
The ratings anticipate that RTL Group will reposition its external indebtedness and borrowings capacity at the level of RTL Group SA, with minimum necessary amounts kept at the level of its subsidiaries.
RTL Group’s Chief Executive Officer Didier Bellens said: "These ratings demonstrate the soundness of our strategy and the enormous potential we have to further improve the Group’s position as pan-European leader in its sector. They are a recognition of the quality of our assets and business lines and reflect their unique combination and potential. We are perfectly positioned to build on our strong brands and our excellent audience know how and to leverage synergies between our broadcasting and production activities throughout many countries."
Thomas Rabe, Chief Financial Officer, commented: "I am delighted about these ratings because they reflect our financial strength and are another proof that the combination and diversity of our assets is convincing. They allow us to further leverage our growth potentials and give us access to new sources of debt funding. The euro commercial paper programme which will be launched soon is a first step in this direction."
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