- Ratings firm acknowledges ICL's unique advantages, improved credit metrics and prudent financial policy -
TEL AVIV, Israel, July 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- ICL (ICL) (ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, announced that S&P Global ("S&P") has reaffirmed ICL's rating at BBB- with a Stable Outlook.
In its report S&P stated that its stable outlook reflects its expectation that ICL will maintain S&P's rating-adjusted net debt to EBITDA of 2.5x - 3.5x, and considers the company's plan to undertake midsize acquisitions in the coming years and maintain its current dividend policy. S&P also added that adjusted net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 3.0x at the top of the business cycle and 4.0x at the bottom of the cycle to be commensurate with the current rating. S&P highlighted ICL's track record of navigating its business through the cyclicality of the fertilizer industry and its prudent financial policy, as well as the reduction in ICL's leverage.
The report also cited ICL's inherent advantages including direct access to a concentrated source of unique high-quality raw materials at the Dead Sea, favourable cost position of potash and bromine mining compared with competitors, logistic advantages, wide geographic sales spread and diversified portfolio. S&P also noted ICL's strategy of focusing on both organic and acquisitive growth and increasing the share of specialty products in its portfolio. The rating agency believes that over time, and along with already-established positions in more resilient markets such as bromine, this strategy will help ICL to stabilize its profits over the fertilizer cycle.
Kobi Altman, ICL's CFO stated, "ICL's improved financial performance have resulted in improved credit metrics, reflected in a decrease in our rating-adjusted net debt to EBITDA ratio from more than 3.5 in 2016 to 2.4 in Q1 2019. We will continue to execute our leadership strategy while prudently allocating our capital resources."
ICL is a global specialty minerals and chemicals company operating bromine, potash and phosphate mineral value chains in a unique, integrated business model. ICL extracts raw materials from well-positioned mineral assets and utilizes technology and industrial know-how to add value for customers in key agricultural and industrial markets worldwide. ICL focuses on strengthening leadership positions in all of its core value chains. It also plans to strengthen and diversify its offerings of innovative agro solutions by leveraging ICL's existing capabilities and agronomic know-how, as well as the Israeli technological ecosystem. ICL's operations are divided into four business divisions: Industrial Products (bromine value chain and complementary business); Potash; Phosphate Solutions (P2O5 Chain); and Innovative Ag Solutions. ICL's shares are dual-listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE: ICL). The company employs about 12,000 people worldwide, and its 2018 revenues totaled about $5.6 billion. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.icl-group.com.
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