MOODY'S CONFIRMS DEBT RATINGS OF INTERNATIONAL PAPER COMPANY (SR. AT A3) AND CARTER HOLT HARVEY LIMITED (SR AT Baa2)
New York, 04-13-95 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the debt ratings of International Paper Company (IP) and those of Carter Holt Harvey Limited (CHH). Moody's action follows IP's announcement that it has agreed to purchase Brierly Investment Limited's (BIL) stake in CHH, thereby increasing its ownership in CHH to approximately 31.3%. Furthermore, IP has launched a tender offer designed to increase its stake in CHH to 50.1%. Moody's estimates the total cost of the transactions at about $1.2 billion. Although the rating agency expects the acquisition to be financed primarily with debt, the additional leverage is manageable within the risk parameters established by management. The probability that IP would eventually increase its stake in CHH had been factored into IP's rating outlook, the rating agency added. The potential influence of IP on CHH's activities had also been factored into CHH's ratings. Prior to the announcement, IP owned approximately 24% of CHH.
Confirmed ratings are:
International Paper Company -- debentures, debt securities, Euromarket notes, senior notes, MTN's, sinking fund debentures industrial revenue bonds at A3; subordinated debentures, subordinated debt securities at Baa1; and commercial paper at Prime-2.
Carter Holt Harvey Limited -- senior notes, senior debentures at Baa2.
International Paper, headquartered in Purchase, New York, is a worldwide producer of printing papers, packaging and forest products. The company also operates specialty businesses and a broadly-based paper distribution network.
Carter Holt Harvey, headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, produces paper, packaging and forest products.
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