Eutelsat ratings downgraded

Moody’s Investor Service has downgraded Eutelsat’s long-term debt and credit rating.  The move is expected to make any new borrowing slightly more expensive, and Eutelsat is known to be seeking a senior unsecured Euro-denominated bond in order to fund its announced acquisition of Mexico’s SatMex satellite business.

When the Satmex deal was announced back in August the purchase price was quoted as costing $831 million plus the assumption of an extra $311 million of SatMex debt. The market is expecting this purchase to be 100 per cent debt-financed.

The Moody move sees Eutelsat’s long-term rating downgraded from Baa3 to Baa2, and Eutelsat’s senior unsecured debt from Ba1 to Baa3.  Moody’s says the outlook on the debt is “secure”.

The past week has seen Eutelsat’s share price fall from €22.10 to €21.45, and well down on the past 52-week high of €27.99 (which occurred in March).

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