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Global Credit Research - 28 Apr 2011
New York, April 28, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned an A2 rating to Cargill,
Incorporated's (Cargill) proposed senior unsecured notes due 2021
and affirmed the company's existing ratings, including its
A2 senior unsecured rating and Prime-1 short-term rating
for Cargill and its guaranteed subsidiaries. The new notes are
being offered in exchange for up to $2 billion of existing debt
notes. The ratings outlook is stable.
The rating assigned is summarized below:
Senior unsecured notes due 2021 -- A2
Cargill will issue new notes to satisfy exchange offers recently initiated
for five different existing notes issues with a total outstanding principal
amount totaling $2.75 billion that have maturities in 2012
and 2013. The exact amount of the new notes will only be known
after the holders of the existing notes respond to the exchange offers,
but under the terms of the exchange offers could be exchanged for as much
as $2 billion principal amount of existing notes. The exchanges
will refinance the debt issues well in advance of their maturities,
extending the maturity to 2021 (ten year issue). There will be
little change in the principal amount of debt outstanding, except
for amounts to compensate investors for participating in the exchange
offers and for changes in interest rates. We view the early refinancing
of Cargill's 2012 and 2013 maturities as a positive.
Should the exchange offers result in all of an existing rated debt issue
being retired, we would withdraw the rating on that debt issue upon
completion of the exchange offers.
Cargill's A2 senior unsecured note ratings are supported by its global
commodity-oriented business, marked by considerable scale,
and geographic and business diversification, good overall liquidity,
and reducing leverage trends. Cargill has a long history of operating
and trading in volatile commodity markets and its global scale and extensive
sourcing and logistics network are both key to its strategy and represent
a significant barrier to competitor entry. The ratings are supported
by the company's progress in increasing the share of earnings from higher
value-added businesses. We expect that Cargill will continue
to deliver strong risk management and sound operating results while maintaining
good liquidity. The company benefits from relatively stable demand
for its agricultural products versus other cyclical commodities,
supported by global population growth, biofuel demand and the rising
standard of living in developing countries.
These positives are tempered by earnings and cash flow volatility,
exposure to potentially large working capital needs based on volatile
commodity prices, full leverage for the ratings, exposure
to trading losses and risks, and the confidence sensitive nature
of the trading (counterparty access) and origination (trade credit access)
sides of the business. Cargill faces seasonal swings in commodity
prices, and several uncontrollable factors such as trade policies
Cargill's ratings were assigned by evaluating factors that Moody's
considers relevant to the credit profile of the issuer, such as
the company's (i) business risk and competitive position compared with
others within the industry; (ii) capital structure and financial
risk; (iii) projected performance over the near to intermediate term;
and (iv) management's track record and tolerance for risk. Moody's
compared these attributes against other issuers both within and outside
Cargill's core industry and believes Cargill's ratings are
comparable to those of other issuers with similar credit risk.
Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com
for the last Credit Rating Action and the rating history.
Cargill, Incorporated is engaged in the marketing and processing
of agricultural, industrial, and financial commodities.
It operates in 66 countries and markets its products primarily in Asia/Pacific,
Europe, South America, and North America. Cargill is
diversified by operational and marketing geography, commodity markets,
and services. Cargill's global scale and extensive sourcing and
logistics network is key to its strategy, and represents a significant
barrier to entry. With $113 billion in sales for the twelve
months ended February 28, 2011 (its fiscal year ends May 31),
Cargill is the largest privately held business in the US and one of the
largest companies in the US.
Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following:
parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings,
public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's
Investors Service information.
Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available
on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of assigning
a credit rating.
Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses
in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources
Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate,
independent third-party sources. However, Moody's
is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or
validate information received in the rating process.
Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com
for the last rating action and the rating history.
The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to
a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized
and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's
Investors Service provides a date that it believes is the most reliable
and accurate based on the information that is available to it.
Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com
for further information.
Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies
used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning
of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's assigns an A2 rating to Cargill's proposed new notes
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