PPR’S MOUNTING DEBT: Standard & Poor’s reduced its rating on Prinault-Printemps-Redoute’s long-term debt to “BBB-minus,” the lowest level of investment grade. The debt, which now carries a stable outlook, had been rated “BBB.” The international credit watchdog also lowered PPR’s short-term debt to “A3” from “A2.” On a conference call, S&P analyst Hugues de la Presle, noted: “Even when factoring in no debt-funded external growth, we do not expect a very meaningful improvement in PPR’s debt measures in 2002 as a result of the group’s limited cash flow generation. This stems from the group’s sustained capital expenditure program in the coming years.” Capital expenditures could top $700 million annually. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

I WANT MY TPA: President Bush on Thursday renewed his push for quick Senate action on a bill expanding his trade negotiating powers and called for a vote no later than April 22. Attached to Trade Promotion Authority legislation will be a bill extending apparel trade breaks to Andean countries. TPA and Andean legislation already have passed the House, but are hung up in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Democrats want the bill to contain health benefits for workers unemployed due to import competition, which Republicans reject.

BURLINGTON EXCLUSIVITY EXTENDED: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., extended Burlington Industries Inc.’s exclusive right to file a reorganization plan in its Chapter 11 case until Sept. 16, a spokeswoman for the mill said Thursday. That gives management more time to determine how to rework the company and prevents creditors from imposing their own solution.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus