18 April 2007 17:44 [Source: ICIS news]
Moody’s said that while it believed the acquisition would have a positive effect in the medium term, it would increase Air Liquide’s gross debt by €240m and dilute financial metrics in the short term, given Lurgi’s weak operating performance.
Air Liquide had taken on an additional gross debt of €1.2bn since December 2006 following acquisitions from Linde and the GEA agreement.
The company’s debt-to-equity target had changed from 50% to 60-70%, Moody's added, triggering some downward pressure on Air Liquide’s Prime-1 ratings.
The agency's last rating action on Air Liquide was on 31 March 2004 following the French group’s acquisition of certain activities of Messer Griesheim.
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