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18 Feb 1997
MOODY'S ASSIGNS A Ba2 RATING TO REFINANCED BANK CREDIT FACILTIES OF AMERICAN STANDARD
New York, 02-18-97 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned Ba2 ratings to the facilities that comprise the $1.75 billion Bank Credit Agreement of American Standard Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries. The Bank Facility consists of a $750 million U.S. dollar revolving credit facility, a $625 million multi-currency revolving credit facility and a $375 million multi-currency periodic access credit facility. The Ba2 rating reflects American Standard's high level of debt and negative equity following the 1988 LBO, the company's strong market position and improving operating performance and the guarantee of the obligations by American Standard Inc. and certain of its significant domestic subsidiaries. The rating also reflects the planned share repurchase and contemplated medical systems acquisitions, which will increase the company's debt levels. The Ba2 rating on the $1 billion credit agreement dated February 9, 1995, which was refinanced by this facility, is withdrawn.
The $1.75 billion Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated January 31, 1997, has a final maturity of January 31, 2002. The agreement is between American Standard Companies Inc., American Standard Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries, Chase Securities Inc. as Arranger, The Chase Manhattan Bank as Administrative Agent, NationsBank, N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia as Co-Syndication Agents, and Citibank, N.A. as Documentation Agent. The new facilities provide for lower interest costs, increased borrowing capacity and less restrictive covenants. The facilities will continue to be secured by a pledge of the stock of American Standard Inc. and nearly all shares of subsidiary stock; however, the facilities will no longer be secured by certain mortgages and liens on assets.
The proceeds of the bank facilities will be used in part to replace outstanding borrowings under the 1995 credit agreement. The facility will also fund the repurchase of up to 6.25 million shares of American Standard common stock currently owned by ASI Partners and the contemplated acquisition of the European medical diagnostic business of Sorin Biomedica S.p.A. and all the outstanding shares of Incstar Corporation, a biotechnology company 52% owned by Sorin.
While recent events will increase the leverage of American Standard, the ratings continue to be supported by its strong market positions in each of its core businesses, diversity of sales, improved profitability and strong cash flow. While future debt reduction is expected, Moody's believes that American Standard will use an increasing portion of its cash flow to pursue investments in international joint ventures and other business expansion opportunities. Consequently, financial measurements are likely to improve at a moderate pace.
Headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey, American Standard Inc. is one of the world's largest producers of air conditioning products and bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings, and a leading producer of braking and control systems for commercial and utility vehicles.
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.
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