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S&P lowers Dell ratings to 'BBB' from 'A-', remains on watch negative

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on Dell to 'BBB' from 'A-', and its commercial paper rating to 'A-2' from 'A-1'. All ratings remain on CreditWatch, where they were placed with negative implications on Feb. 5. The initial CreditWatch listing reflected S&P's assessment that the $24.4B going private transaction, which includes a substantial portion of debt financing, will materially degrade Dell's financial risk profile, which S&P currently view as modest. Although Carl Icahn submitted a non-binding alternative acquisition proposal, the Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners LBO proposal remains the only transaction that has been approved by Dell's board of directors. S&P's review of the LBO transaction terms and the company's ownership, business and financial strategy may also result in a downward revision of its assessment of Dell's business risk profile.