ZURICH, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) -
* Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 rating to Barry Callebaut AG
Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa andchocolate products, announced today that Moody's Investors Service,assigned a Ba1 corporate rating to Barry Callebaut AG, down from Baa3. Therating outlook is stable. At the same time, the rating on the seniorunsecured notes is Ba1 in line with the corporate credit rating.
According to Moody's, the downgrade reflects that the acquisition ofSingapore-based Petra Foods Ltd.'s Cocoa Ingredients Division has anegative impact on key metrics and financial flexibility of BarryCallebaut, given the acquisition isfinanced predominantly with debt.
Barry Callebaut will finance the acquisition through a combination of newequity for an equivalent amount of USD 300 million and a USD 600 millionRule 144A/Reg S USD bond offering.
Following the downgrade from Standard & Poor's on March 28 2013,VictorBalli, CFO of Barry Callebaut, said: "After achieving investment grade byMoody's two years ago, we expected and communicated in December 2012 apotential downgrade based on the acquisition of Petra Foods' CocoaIngredients Division and related rating metrics. We are convinced of thestrategic long-term value of this important strategic acquisition and,based on our long-term strategy, we will continue to invest in futuregrowth. Despite such investments might temporarily affect ourprofitability, balance sheet ratios and cash generation, we are fullycommitted to go back to investment grade within the next few years."
Barry Callebaut (www.barry-callebaut.com):
With annual sales of about CHF 4.8 billion (EUR 4.0 billion / USD 5.2billion) in fiscal year 2011/12, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is theworld's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate - from thecocoa bean to the finest chocolate product. Barry Callebaut operates out of30 countries, runs more than 45 production facilities and employs a diverseand dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves theentire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisansand professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs orbakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut(®) and CacaoBarry(®). Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolateinnovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields ofproduct development, processing, training and marketing. Cost leadership isanother important reason why global as well as local food manufacturerswork together with Barry Callebaut. Through its Cocoa Horizons initiativeand research activities, the company engages with farmers, farmerorganizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoaand improve farmer livelihoods.
The complete news release can be downloaded from the following link:
Press Release (PDF):http://hugin.info/100441/R/1700308/561345.pdf
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Source: Barry Callebaut via Thomson Reuters ONE
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