Credit watchdog S&P assigns Poland’s Ciech with a 'stable' outlook

19 December 2012 11:22  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has assigned its ‘B’ long-term corporate credit rating to Poland-based soda ash producer Ciech with a ‘stable’ outlook, the credit watchdog said on Wednesday.

“The stable outlook reflects our view that Ciech's liquidity will remain ‘adequate’, and that its soda ash business will remain resilient to the currently volatile economic climate,” the ratings agency said.

As well as issuing the corporate credit rating, Standard & Poor’s gave a ‘B’ rating to the €245m ($322m) of senior secured notes which comprised Ciech’s first ever international bond, and was offered to investors in November.

Under a new restructuring drive to pay down debt, Ciech is to concentrate on its core production units - largely its soda ash production plants in Poland, Germany and Romania - while closing its lossmaking Zachem toluene diisocyanate (TDI) business in Poland and divesting other non-core units.

The restructuring, which has sparked street demonstrations from workers, is set to cost up to 600 Zachem jobs, Polish labour officials said on 14 December.

On 11 December, Raiffeisen Centrobank forecast that Ciech could expect a 4-5% hike in annual contract prices for soda ash in 2013.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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