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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Urenco to A2 with stable outlook.

25 Jan 2010

London, 25 January 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded senior unsecured issuer rating of Urenco Ltd (Urenco) and its guaranteed subsidiaries by one notch to A2. The Baseline Credit Assessment of 8 (which equates to a Baa1) and the P-1 rating remain unchanged. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

The change in the rating is driven by the revised assessment of the support characteristics. In accordance with Moody's GRI rating methodology, Urenco's A2 senior unsecured issuer rating reflects the combination of the following inputs:

- Baseline Credit Assessment of 8 which equates to a Baa1 (on a scale of 1 to 21, where 1 represents lowest credit risk);

- Aaa local currency rating of the UK and Dutch governments;

- Low dependence;

- Medium support.

Moody's assessment of government support remains Medium and continues to reflect the strategic and sensitive nature of Urenco's activities for both the UK and the Dutch governments (which each own 1/3rd of Urenco's share capital), specifically in terms of national security arrangements, sensitive information, and legal restrictions on the scope of the company's activities. The assessment recognizes that government ownership and current legal framework necessitate strong government oversight of the policies and operations of the company, including the current expansion in the US market supported by several inter-governmental treaties. The revised level of support within the Medium category, nevertheless, reflects Moody's view that the complexity of the shareholding structure will require international cooperation in designing support mechanisms and may constrain to a degree the timeliness of the preventative measures aimed at supporting the company as a going concern in a financial distress situation.

Moody's notes that Urenco's operating and financial results in 2008 and in 2009 remained robust, as its long-dated sales contracts and continued favorable market dynamics helped to safeguard the company's performance during the economic slowdown. Moody's notes, that the company has substantially completed its green-field construction project in the US, where the new facility in New Mexico is expected to start contributing to the revenue line in the current year.

Urenco's Baseline Credit Assessment of 8 (which equates to a Baa1 rating) is underpinned by the medium-term expectation that following the current phase of the capacity build out, the company's leverage metrics will stage a gradual recovery, supported by additional volumes from the new facilities and improving profitability. We expect an improvement in RCF/ND coverage towards the level of medium twenty percent. We continue to draw significant comfort from the predictability in revenue and cash flow generation afforded by Urenco's strengthening global position in the concentrated sector, high profitability of the enrichment operations and substantial contract portfolio.

Urenco's liquidity remains satisfactory. Urenco's working capital requirements are supported by the EUR 500 million credit facility (that has no financial covenants). In 2010, the company is expected to continue investing in its operations and also faces EUR 300m maturity. We expect Urenco to manage its liquidity proactively. In 2008 and 2009 Urenco was successful in raising several private placements that should allow some flexibility in managing the refinancing.

The last rating action on Urenco was on 8 October 2007 when Moody's downgraded Urenco's Baseline Credit Assessment by one notch to 8 and affirmed it's A1/P-1 ratings.

The principal methodologies used in rating Urenco was Moody's Global Chemicals Methodology and Global Methodology for Rating Unregulated Utilities and Power Companies, published in December 2009 and August 2009 respectively 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 website.

Based in Marlow (UK), Urenco provides enrichment services to power utilities worldwide. In the fiscal year ended December 2008, the group reported sales of EUR 1,136 million (EUR 438 million in 1H 2009).

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

London
Elena Nadtotchi
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's downgrades Urenco to A2 with stable outlook.
No Related Data.
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