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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns provisional (P)B3 rating to Ferrexpo's new USD500 million guaranteed notes

24 Mar 2011

London, 24 March 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a provisional (P)B3 rating to Ferrexpo Finance plc's new USD500 million 5-year Senior Unsecured Guaranteed notes, guaranteed by Ferrexpo AG and Ferrexpo Plc and under suretyship of Ferrexpo Poltava GOK Corporation. All other ratings of the group remain unchanged. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The new USD500 million 5-years Senior Unsecured Guaranteed Notes will rank pari passu with all existing senior, unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness of the group. The one-notch differential to the corporate family rating reflects the presence of 1) senior secured debt at the main operating subsidiary level (Ferrexpo Poltava) and 2) a senior secured USD350 million pre-export finance facility at Ferrexpo Finance Plc level. Ferrexpo Poltava, however, also including its available undrawn revolving credit facilities - Moody's assumes 75% drawn in its rating methodology - has a relatively modest amount of debt, compared to the overall Group debt level. Furthermore, it is also important to specify that the pre-export finance facility's security package actually consists of assignments to lenders of export sales contracts, whose sales volumes are relatively modest compared to the overall sales volumes of the Group.

The considered senior unsecured guaranteed notes will benefit from a surety agreement from Ferrexpo Poltava GOK Corporation. The enforceability of the surety agreement provided carries risks associated with the developing nature of the Ukrainian Legislation and the short history of Ukrainian Commercial Law. The new notes will be used by Ferrexpo to fund organic developments at mining deposits adjacent to its existing mining reserves.

The assignment of a definitive rating to the new USD500 million Senior Unsecured Guaranteed Notes is subject to a review of the final associated documentation. Moody's issues provisional ratings in advance of the final issue of securities, and these ratings only represent Moody's preliminary opinion. Upon a conclusive review of the transaction and associated documentation, Moody's will endeavor to assign definitive ratings to the securities. A definitive rating may differ from a provisional rating.

While Moody's does not anticipate positive rating pressure at this stage. A diversification of the group's mining assets both in terms of metals exposure and geographical location and the consolidation of the solid financial structure achieved in 2010 over the next quarters could lead to positive rating pressure over time.

The rating could be downgraded if a sharp deterioration in the operating cash flow generation of the group and / or a more aggressive financial policy would lead to a deterioration in CFO - Dividends / Debt sustainably below 15% and to sustainably negative FCF / Net debt and / or to a material deterioration in the liquidity profile of the group. A material increase in dividend payout or share buybacks could also lead to negative pressure on the ratings.

The last rating action on Ferrexpo Plc was on September 28, 2010, when Moody's assigned a new B2 Corporate Family rating to Ferrexpo Plc and a stable outlook to the rating.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Global Mining Industry published in May 2009, and Loss Given Default for Speculative-Grade Non-Financial Companies in the U.S., Canada and EMEA published in June 2009.

Ferrexpo Plc, headquartered in Switzerland and incorporated in the UK, is an iron ore pellet producer with all its mining and processing assets located in Ukraine. Ferrexpo has the fourth largest iron ore reserves worldwide behind Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton with access to approximately 1.5 billion tonnes of JORC proved and probable reserves included in approximately 6.9 billion of resources at an average ore grade of 30% Fe. Ferrexpo is the 6th largest pellet producer behind Cliffs, Vale, Samarco Metinvest and LKAB. In 2010 the group generated sales of USD 1.3bn and an EBITDA of USD 585 million.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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.

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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.

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London
Gianmarco Migliavacca
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Olivier Beroud
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
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JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's assigns provisional (P)B3 rating to Ferrexpo's new USD500 million guaranteed notes
No Related Data.
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