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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Carmeuse CFR to B1; Review for Downgrade

11 May 2009

EUR 250million of Rated Outstanding Debt Securities affected

Frankfurt, May 11, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the Corporate Family and Probability of Default Ratings of Carmeuse to B1. The rating on the EUR 250 million Senior Secured Floating Rate Guaranteed Notes issued by Calcipar SA is also downgraded to B1. The ratings remain under review for downgrade.

The downgrade to B1 reflects the further weakening of the operating and credit metrics of Carmeuse following the rapid and sharp deterioration in underlying demand for the issuer's key end markets in the last two months of fiscal year 2008 and at the start of fiscal year 2009 driven partly by destocking at Carmeuse's end customers but also to some degree to more structural weakness in underlying markets. Moody's expects operating and credit metrics to further deteriorate in the short term due to both demand weakness and challenging comparatives from fiscal year 2008 and does not anticipate a rapid recovery leading to credit metrics that will not be in compliance with our previous guidance for the Ba3 rating where we had expected Debt / EBITDA as adjusted by Moody's to be no higher than 4.0x among other factors. Moody's notes that Carmeuse is implementing various operating and financial measures to contain the deterioration in the operating performance and credit metrics of the group which should help support the B1 rating during this very sharp cyclical downturn and result in cash flow generation stabilizing as demand levels also begin to level out.

The ratings of Carmeuse remain under review for downgrade following the group's announcement that they have entered into pro active negotiations with their banking group with regards to potential covenant breach risks under its senior secured term loan and revolving credit facilities at the testing on 30th June 2009 and on the refinancing of its EUR 107million revolving credit facility maturing in December 2009. The review will focus on the terms and conditions of the waiver and refinancing negotiations and the resulting impact on the short and medium term liquidity profile of the group.

Carmeuse had cash on balance sheet as of end of December 2008 of EUR 42.5million and access to a EUR 195 million Revolving Credit Facility (fully drawn at 31 December 2008) as well as to a EUR 107 million revolver maturing in December 2009 (undrawn at 31 December 2008) and various other bilateral facilities. A failure to refinance the EUR 107million revolver maturing in December 2009 and to obtain covenant waivers for the group's senior lending facilities would lead to an unsustainable liquidity position for the Carmeuse group. Moody's also notes that Carmeuse faces material amortizations under its term loan facilities contracted to fund the Oglebay Norton acquisition (USD 72million in Fiscal Year 2010 and USD 108million in Fiscal Year 2011), which we understand is also being discussed as part of the broader credit discussions.

The following ratings are affected by today's rating action:

-Carmeuse Holding S.A. -- Corporate Family Rating / Probability of Default Rating downgraded to B1 from Ba3

-Calcipar SA -- Senior Secured Floating Rate Guaranteed Notes Rating downgraded to B1 from Ba3

The last rating action was on December 15, 2008 when all ratings of Carmeuse were downgraded by one notch to Ba3 and the outlook was changed to negative.

The principal methodology used in rating Carmeuse Holding SA was the 'Global Building Materials Industry', which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.

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 1181 million in revenues in 2008.

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

Frankfurt
Stanislas Duquesnoy
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's downgrades Carmeuse CFR to B1; Review for Downgrade
No Related Data.
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