INDEPENDENT NEWS

Credit Rating Move No Surprise To Telecom

Published: Thu 16 Sep 1999 11:02 AM
Telecom said today that in light of its announced takeover offer for AAPT, it was not unexpected that Standard and Poor's placed Telecom's long-term AA credit rating on Credit Watch with negative implications.
"In light of uncertainty associated with such a takeover offer, it is not unexpected or unusual that our long-term credit rating has been put on credit watch," General Manager Finance Pat Duignan said.
"However, Telecom's credit standing remains among the highest among New Zealand corporates," he said.
"As the uncertainty arising from the AAPT offer is resolved, we hope to agree with Standard and Poor's that no downgrade is necessary," Mr Duignan said.
While Telecom's long-term credit rating has been put on Credit Watch, Standard and Poor's said Telecom's A-1+ short-term rating was not on credit watch and was affirmed.
Mr Duignan said that Standard and Poor's had acknowledged Telecom's very prudent finances and credit protection measures and had also noted that: "acquisition of AAPT would provide Telecom with a solid position in the trans-Tasman business communications markets, and the opportunity to realise some operational synergies."
Mr Duignan noted that Standard and Poor's statement said that it was unlikely that Telecom's rating would move by more than one notch.
ENDS

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