Moody's downgrades Lucite on operating weakness

08 October 2008 17:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Moody’s has downgraded its outlook for UK-based methyl methacrylate (MMA) producer Lucite, reflecting sustained weakness in its operating performance, the ratings company said on Tuesday.

 

Moody’s said the group’s margins and cash flow generation had been affected by high input costs and lower volumes leading to restricted financial flexibility.

 

Lucite had raised debt to pre-fund a multi-year investment in its new cost-advantaged Singapore MMA plant, raising concerns over near term prospects where the company is faced by weakened cash flow, Moody’s said.

 

Moody’s lowered its rating for Lucite to Caa1 with a negative outlook.

 

In September, private equity-owned Lucite said it had hired Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch to examine options of a possible sale or initial public offering (IPO) amid media reports over two $2bn (€1.46) takeover bids.

 

 ($1 = €0.73)

 

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By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214



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