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Rating Action:


18 Aug 1998
MOODY'S CONFIRMS COOPER INDUSTRIES' A2 SENIOR DEBT RATING AND PRIME-1 COMMERCIAL PAPER RATING New York, 08-18-98 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the A2 senior debt rating of Cooper Industries, Inc.(Cooper) and its Prime-1 rating for the issuance of commercial paper. In a related action, Moody's also confirmed the Prime-1 rating for the issuance of commercial paper by Cooper (UK) Ltd., which is a supported by a guaranty from Cooper. The rating actions follow today's announcement that Federal-Mogul Corp. will acquire the Automotive Products business of Cooper for $1.9 billion in cash. The sales proceeds will be used by Cooper for a combination of value-added acquisitions, debt reduction and share repurchases. In confirming the ratings, Moody's anticipates that Cooper will manage its acquisitions and share repurchases to maintain financial and debt-protections measurements, which are consistent with the current rating category.
The ratings confirmed are:
Cooper Industries, Inc. - rating of A2 for medium-term notes, industrial revenue bonds and Debt Exchangeable for Common Stock; Prime-1 rating for the issuance of commercial paper; VMIG 1 rating for short-term borrowings related to industrial revenue bonds.
Cooper (UK) Ltd. - Prime-1 rating for the issuance of commercial paper, which is guaranteed by Cooper Industries, Ind.
Moody's said that the sale of Cooper's Auto Products business follows a strategic review undertaken by the company to evaluate various exit strategies for this business. Following the sale, approximately 75% of Cooper's revenues will be generated from its Electrical Products segment with the remainder from its Tools and Hardware segment. While the sale will reduce the diversification of Cooper's business mix, its remaining operations are somewhat less cyclical, are more profitable and offer greater growth potential. Despite ongoing acquisitions to grow its remaining segments and continuing share repurchases, Moody's anticipates that Cooper will maintain adequate financial flexibility consistent with its past track record.
Headquartered in Houston, TX, Cooper Industries, Inc. is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware, and automotive products.

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