16 December 2003 22:11 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--US commercial credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) placed German chemical giant Celanese on CreditWatch with negative implications Tuesday after the Blackstone Group made a $3.8bn (Euro3.1bn) take-over offer.
New York City-based S&P said the CreditWatch placement reflects the expectation that Celanese's debt leverage will be "increased substantially" to fund the transaction.
Said S&P in a statement: "Despite Blackstone's apparent confidence in management and the strategic direction of the company, the pending transaction also raises new uncertainties regarding Celanese's longer-range financial policies, which is a key underpinning of the current ratings."
Kronberg, Germany-based Celanese benefits from a diverse product portfolio, S&P said, noting that a majority of its business is commodity products. Celanese also maintains a leading position in the mature but profitable acetate tow business.
Continued S&P: "The company has demonstrated a level of resilience through the current industry trough, with operating margins before depreciation and amortisation averaging in the area of 10%."
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