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14 Mar 2001
MOODY'S CONFIRMS THE LONG-TERM SR. DEBT RATINGS FOR GLAXO WELLCOME AT Aa2 AND UP-GRADES THE LONG-TERM SR. DEBT RATING OF SMITHKLINE BEECHAM TO Aa2
Approximately $3.5 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.
London, 14 March 2001 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the long-term sr. debt
ratings for Glaxo Wellcome plc (GW) at Aa2 and upgraded the long-term
sr. debt rating for Smithkline Beecham plc (SB) to Aa2 from Aa3.
The short-term debt ratings for both entities were confirmed at
Prime-1. Rating outlook is stable. This rating action
concludes the rating review initiated in early 2000.
The merger between GlaxoWellcome plc (GW) and Smithkline Beecham plc (SB)
was effected by setting up a joint holding company GlaxoSmithKline plc
(GSK). Shareholders of both former entities were exchanged for
shares on GSK. GSK is the management and financial holding of the
new group. Moody's rating action considered the following:
In converging the ratings of the former issuer GW and SB towards the Aa2
level, Moody' expects that the management of the new holding GSK
will assume the conservative financial regime of the former GW group and
that the expectation of delivering merger related synergies in excess
of GBP 1.6 Billion by 2003 will be met. Furthermore,
GSK has adopted an central financing policy: all major future capital
markets transactions will be done via the holding company. Existing
debt, formerly issued by GW and SB will eventually be covered with
a parent guarantee to ensure pari-passu status for all holders
of all old and new public debt. Moody's expects this to be completed
before the end of the current fiscal year.
GSK currently employs only marginal amounts of net debt, especially
in relation to the market value of equity. Moody's expects that
this approach will be maintained going forward. The group is believed
to have the product/research resources available to ensure an continued
successful performance and to ensure a continued presence among the world's
leading pharmaceutical companies, with the appropriate cash generation
and capital structure typically associated with the current rating category.
The rating agency understands that the challenges inherent to the dynamic
environment of the pharmaceutical industry will be met without significant
external growth. However, Moody's expects to see smaller
debt financed transactions from time to time for the purchase of additional
combinatorial know how.
GSK will occasionally buy-back smaller amounts of it shares,
primarily for hedging purposes of its commitments under employ stock option
plans. More material share-buy backs could also be considered,
but Moody's expects that these would be done in line with the group's
Aa2 target rating.
Ratings confirmed are:
Glaxo Wellcome plc -- Aa2 for Eurobonds and Japanese Yen
Glaxo Kabushiki Kaisha -- Aa2 for guaranteed Eurobonds.
Ratings upgraded are:
SmithKline Beecham Corporation - Aa2 (from Aa3) for gtd.
counterparty obligations, gtd. medium-term note program,
gtd. medium-term notes, gtd. notes; and
"aa2" (from "aa3") for preferred/preference stock.
SmithKline Beecham Capital Inc. - Aa2 (from Aa3) for gtd.
counterparty obligations, gtd. Euro medium-term note
program, and gtd. Eurobonds.
SmithKline Beecham Capital plc. - Aa2 (from Aa3) for gtd.
counterparty obligations, gtd. Euro medium-term note
program, and gtd. Eurobonds.
SmithKline Beecham Holdings Corporation - "aa2" (from "aa3") for
preferred/preference stock and (P)"aa2" (from (P)"aa3") for shelf registration
of preferred/preference stock.
Ratings confirmed are:
Glaxo Wellcome plc - Prime-1 for commercial paper.
Glaxo Wellcome Inc. - Prime-1 for guaranteed commercial
SmithKline Beecham Finance plc -- Prime-1 for gtd.
SmithKline Beecham (Australia) Pty Ltd. -- Prime-1
for gtd. commercial paper.
GlaxoSmithKline plc, headquartered in Greenford, Middlesex,
UK is active in the discovery, development, manufacture and
marketing of prescription and non-prescription medicines,
vaccines, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and health-related
consumer products. The group's two main subsidiaries are Glaxo
Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. Its principal markets include
the United States of America, the United Kingdom. Germany,
France, Italy, Spain, Japan, India and Australia.
During the year ended December of 2000, sales at GlaxoSmithKline
plc were GBP18.08 Billion (US$26.39 Billion).
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
+49 69 707 30 700
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
+49 69 707 30 700
No Related Data.
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