Advanced Television

Confusion at Eutelsat over credit ratings

August 5, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Last week Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat revealed its end-of-year numbers and that it was buying Mexico-based SatMex in a deal worth more than $1.1 billion.  CEO Michael de Rosen explained to financial analysts on the result’s conference call that Eutelsat was extremely keen to maintain its “investment grade” rating with the various Ratings Agencies.

That seemingly isn’t the complete case, at least as far as Moody’s is concerned. Moody’s says Eutelsat is under review for a ratings downgrade from Baa2/Baa3 (dependent upon the type of debt). SatMex itself has a Moody’s rating of Caa1/negative.

Moody’s Ratings says that Eutelsat is now under review and that the results of the downgrade review will emerge at about the same time as the SatMex deal closes. Moody’ also states that the funding source for the SatMex purchase “remains unclear at this stage”.

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