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Fitch boosts Tenneco ratings citing rising sales

CHICAGO (AP) -- Fitch Ratings on Wednesday raised some of its key ratings for auto supplier Tenneco Inc., saying that the continued increase in vehicle sales has boosted demand for its products.

Fitch raised Tenneco's issuer default rating to "BB+" from "BB" and its senior unsecured ratings to "BB" from "BB-." It also backed Tenneco's secured term loan A and secured revolving credit facility ratings at "BBB-."

The ratings apply to an $850 million secured revolving credit facility, a $241 million secured term loan A and $725 million in senior unsecured notes. The ratings outlook is "Stable."

Fitch said the Lake Forest, Ill.-based company's credit profile has improved as global auto sales have grown and demand for the company's technologies remains strong. It noted that Tenneco remains a top global supplier of emission control and vehicle suspension components and has a significant presence in both the new vehicle and replacement markets.

In addition to its traditional light vehicle business, the company has also gotten a boost from increasingly strict emission regulations for commercial vehicles, Fitch said.

Tenneco shares fell 18 cents to $37.50 in late trading.