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Rating Action:

MOODY’S RATES NEW ROGERS CABLE ISSUE Ba2 WITH STABLE OUTLOOK; CONFIRMS ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS RATINGS.

08 Mar 2004
MOODY’S RATES NEW ROGERS CABLE ISSUE Ba2 WITH STABLE OUTLOOK; CONFIRMS ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS RATINGS. Moody’s Investors Service prospectively assigned a Ba2 Senior Secured rating to the proposed issuance of US$350 million Senior Secured Second Priority Notes due 2014 by Rogers Cable Inc. (“Cable”), confirmed the existing Ba2 Senior Secured and Ba3 Senior Subordinated ratings of Cable, and also confirmed the Ba3 Senior Implied, B2 Senior Unsecured and B2 Issuer ratings of Rogers Communications Inc. (“RCI”). The outlook for all ratings remains stable.


The confirmation of ratings at Cable primarily reflects Moody’s expectation of continuing improvement in the cash use (cash from operations less capital expenditures and dividends) from Cable’s existing businesses, which was C$180 million in 2003, compared to net debt of C$2.7 billion. The stable outlook reflects Moody’s belief that the cash costs of launching cable telephony over the next several years can be borne within the existing rating.


However, the outlook could revert to a negative bias and/or the ratings could be lowered if the size of Cable’s investment in telephony or the associated negative operating results exceeds Moody’s current expectations. Conversely, the outlook could turn positive and/or the ratings could be raised if Cable’s success with its telephony product, as measured by its impact on free cash flow, exceeds Moody’s expectations.


RCI’s existing Senior Implied rating is supported by Moody’s expectation of a modest cash use on a consolidated basis, compared to consolidated net debt of C$6 billion. The Senior Unsecured and Issuer ratings of RCI itself are two notches below the Senior Implied rating because RCI’s net debt is structurally subordinate to approximately C$6.2 billion of debt and payables at the operating companies of RCI.


The stable outlook for RCI’s Senior Implied rating reflects an expectation of continuing improvements in RCI’s consolidated operating cash flows from existing businesses, counterbalanced by the incremental cable telephony investments to be made. This rating might be upgraded if RCI is able to produce consolidated free cash flow on a sustainable basis that reduces debt by meaningful amounts. This rating might be downgraded, however, if the consolidated cash drain were to increase, or if RCI was to make an acquisition that meaningfully weakens its credit metrics.


Cable continues to increase penetration of the important Internet product, which is a driver of Cable’s improvement in cash drain. Cable has also increased digital TV penetration, and while this is not as meaningful as the Internet product to cash flow, it nevertheless acts as a deterrent to further satellite competitor growth and is necessary to build additional revenue sources over time. As well, Moody’s believes Cable has pricing power within an acceptable range of the inflation rate. Moody’s believes these continuing improvements will counterbalance its telephony investment over the next several years. Moody’s also notes that in January 2004 Cable began paying a cash distribution totaling C$72 million annually to RCI. As Moody’s has previously expected Cable to partially support RCI’s debt obligations, this action in itself is credit neutral.


Debt affected by this action:


Rogers Cable Inc.

Senior Secured, Second Priority, rated Ba2:

Notes 10% due March 2005 US$292 million

Notes 7.60% due February 2007 C$450 million

Notes 7.875% due May 2012 US$350 million

Notes 6.25% due June 2013 US$350 million

Prospective Notes due March 2014 US$350 million

Debentures 8.75% due May 2032 US$200 million


Senior Subordinated, rated Ba3:

Guaranteed debentures 11% due December 2015 US$114 million


Rogers Communications Inc.

Senior Unsecured, rated B2:

Convertible Debentures 5.75% due November 2005 US$225 million

Notes 10.5% due February 2006 C$75 million

Senior Implied, rated Ba3

Issuer, rated B2


Rogers Communications Inc., a communications company, and Rogers Cable Inc., a cable company, are both headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
No Related Data.
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