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Wienerberger optimizes financing structure
Vienna (ots) -
- Successful placement of ¤ 300 million syndicated term loan
- First step on international debt market
- Initial Standard & Poor's rating for Wienerberger:
Internationalization of financing
Wienerberger AG has optimized its financing structure with a focus on future growth. This optimization is designed to safeguard financing for the Group's expansion strategy over the long-term, in order to meet upcoming opportunities on and requirements of financial markets. Two major steps were taken in recent weeks: the internationalization of financing through successful placement of a syndicated term loan and a rating by Standard & Poor's.
Increase in financial flexibility
The syndicated term loan was placed internationally led by Bank Austria Creditanstalt (mandated lead arranger) and ABN-Amro (senior arranger) with a target volume of ¤ 200 million. Strong demand by the twelve invited banks made it possible to raise the volume to ¤ 300 million. The syndicated term loan will replace the bridge financing of ¤ 186 million from the acquisition of Koramic Roofing, and improve financial flexibility to continue the Group's successful expansion strategy. Wienerberger has now secured total liquidity requirements for 2003 and substantially expanded its international pool of financing banks. Important is also the shift in financing from short-term to long-term. In comparison to year-end 2002, short-term liabilities have declined from roughly one-third to 25%.
Investment grade rating by S&P's
In order to prepare for further steps on international debt markets, a rating was conducted for the first time. As confirmation of its solid credit standing, Wienerberger was classified as "BBB-/Positive Outlook" by Standard & Poor's. This represents an investment grade rating for Wienerberger and ranks the company in the middle of its peer group of significantly larger companies such as CRH, Lafarge, Hanson and Heidelberg Cement. Moreover, Wienerberger is the only company in the building materials sector to receive the prospect of a rating upgrade through the Standard & Poor's designation "Positive Outlook". This is a special distinction, given the current rather weak economic environment.
ots Originaltext: Wienerberger AG
Thomas Melzer, Public and Investor Relations