OM HEX says that Standard & Poor’s has given it an A+ long-term and an A-1 short-term counterparty credit rating. In addition, Standard & Poor’s also assigned its ‘K-1’ Nordic scale short-term rating to OMHEX.
OMHEX says it is establishing a Swedish krona commercial paper program, where SEB Merchant Banking has been appointed as Arranger. OMHEX has also mandated SEB Merchant Banking to arrange a syndicated revolving credit facility including a five-year tranche and a 364-day tranche. The facility, which is in documentation phase, has been well received by the market and is expected to be signed in mid December 2003.
“We are pleased to receive this rating – a mark of quality in the global marketplace,” says Per Nordberg, CFO of OMHEX. “It shows OMHEX is a strong and committed business partner and gives the company access to more cost-effective funding. The rating is an important step in a major refinancing program for OMHEX. We are happy to see that SEB Merchant Banking, Nordea, Handelsbanken, Den Danske Bank and Sampo are confirming their role as our core banking partners and we look forward to develop our future relationships.”
“The ratings on OMHEX reflect the conservative policy regarding membership and margin collateral system and the diligent risk management oversight at Stockholmsbцrsen. The ratings also incorporate the expectations of the recent merger between OM and HEX, and the divestment and closure of loss-making subsidiaries,” adds Miguel Pintado, analyst at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services Group in Stockholm, in a separate press release issued by Standard & Poor’s earlier today.
The ratings agency also said that the outlook was negative, but that “the ratings also capture the potential benefits arising from the combination of OM and HEX and the cost-restructuring program undertaken by the former OM prior to the merger… which partially mitigates Standard & Poor’s concerns…”