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19 Oct 2010
Frankfurt am Main, October 19, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed its outlook on all ratings
of Carmeuse and its subsidiary Calcipar, issuer of EUR250 million
of Senior Secured Guaranteed Notes rated B1, to positive from stable.
All ratings remain unchanged at this stage.
The change in the outlook to positive was prompted by a recovery in operating
performance since we last downgraded Carmeuse in October 2009.
During H1 2010 Carmeuse posted revenue growth of 22% year-on-year
to EUR558 million mainly supported by volume increases. As a result
of higher volumes, increased capacity utilization and the positive
impact of cost cutting measures implemented through the downturn,
adjusted EBITDA surged 60% year-on-year to EUR136
million in H1 2010. Moody's expects H2 volumes to remain
healthy while 2011 should be slightly weaker on the back of a moderate
slowdown in steel demand although visibility remains relatively poor at
this juncture. As a result of improved operating performance and
cash flow generation debt and cash flow metrics improved moderately with
Debt /EBITDA dropping to 4.1x on an LTM June 2010 basis (5.1x
at FYE 2009) and RCF / Net debt increasing to 17.2% from
The improvement in operating performance is seen as crucial for Carmeuse
to retain access to its revolving credit facilities, which will
be needed in order to fund amortizations under the group's term
loans. Free cash flow generation over the next twelve to eighteen
months is unlikely to be sufficient to cover amortizations under the term
Carmeuse's corporate family rating remains largely constrained by
the group's challenging amortization and refinancing profile over
the period 2011 to 2014. Absent any asset disposal and / or refinancing
of short to medium term maturities; Moody's sees very limited
rating upgrade potential above B1. Conversely asset disposals and
/ or refinancing of upcoming maturities could lead to more than one notch
upgrade assuming that operating performance trends are sustained at current
A one notch upgrade to B1 would require Carmeuse to maintain RCF / Net
debt in the high teens and FCF / Debt in the mid single digits.
Negative rating pressure would arise if operating performance cannot be
sustained at current levels leading to negative free cash flow generation
and reducing headroom under the group's financial covenants.
Debt / EBITDA dropping to below 4.5x and RCF / Net debt to below
15% on a sustainable basis would lead to negative pressure on the
The liquidity position of Carmeuse is adequate. The main cash liquidity
requirements over the next twelve months consisting of working capital,
capex and debt amortization (USD35 million in June 2011 and USD54 million
in December 2011) should be covered from operating cash flows, cash
on balance sheet and availabilities under the group's revolving
credit facilities. Our liquidity assessment is underpinned by our
expectation that Carmeuse will maintain sufficient covenant headroom to
keep access to its revolving credit facilities over the next twelve months
as free cash flow generation is most likely to be insufficient to cover
amortizations in fiscal year 2011. At June 30 2010 Carmeuse had
comfortable headroom under its covenants. Moody's notes that
Carmeuse faces large refinancing and amortization requirements in fiscal
year 2012, 2013 and 2014 and that covenants will step down progressively
maintaining the pressure on Carmeuse to continue deleveraging over time.
The last rating action was on October 07, 2009, when the Corporate
Family and Probability of Default ratings of Carmeuse Holdings SA were
downgraded by one notch to B2 and the rating on EUR250 million of Senior
Secured Guaranteed Notes issued by Calcipar were downgraded by one notch
The principal methodology used in rating Carmeuse Holdings SA was Moody's
Global Building Materials Industry, published in July 2009 and available
on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory
under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors
that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can
also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's
Carmeuse Holding SA is the holding company for the Carmeuse Group.
Carmeuse is one of the world's leading producers of lime and lime-related
products enjoying leading positions in a number of European markets and
a number one position in North America which has been recently strengthened.
The company operates in a relatively concentrated industry with only a
handful of large players globally, while its operations are subject
to licenses and are difficult to replicate. Carmeuse reported EUR
944 million in revenues in 2009.
Frankfurt am Main
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
David G. Staples
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
Moody's changes its outlook on Carmeuse to positive (CFR: B2)
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
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