HeidelbergCement rating outlook raised to positive by Moody’s

HeidelbergCement rating outlook raised to positive by Moody’s
Published: 25 September 2009

HeidelbergCement’s credit rating may be raised by Moody’s Investors Service after Germany’s biggest cement maker took in EUR2.25bn (US$3.3bn) selling new shares this week.

Moody’s changed its outlook on the rating, currently four levels below investment grade at B1, to positive from negative.

The company “has been raising funds beyond the upper range of expectations,” Moody’s lead analyst Matthias Hellstern said in a statement. He said the company will probably extend its debt maturity profile further, use positive free cash flow in the next few years for debt reduction and improve its operating performance in 2010.

HeidelbergCement carried out Germany’s biggest share sale in half a decade on Sept. 22, and said it would start a series of bond sales to tackle about EUR5bn in refinancing needs that can’t be covered by asset sales and cash flow.

“We clearly want to show financial ratios that qualify us for an investment grade rating in 2010,” Chief Executive Officer Bernd Scheifele said on September 22.

HeidelbergCement is rated B- at Standard & Poor’s, six levels below investment grade.