Smiths Group plc has been assigned a long-term issuer rating of A3 by Moodys Investor Service, the agency confirming that the outlook for the rating is stable, following completion of the merger between Smiths and TI Group. The Moodys assessment follows a similar announcement by Standard & Poors, 30 January, affirming a single A minus rating for Smiths.
Moodys rating reflects an assessment of Smiths leading positions in several niche markets. The agency notes the good track record of the merged entities for sound margins and strong free cash-flow generation, as well as managements commitment to maintain a prudent financial profile. The rating and its stable outlook also anticipate a timely disposal of the automotive division, as committed by management.
In the same announcement, Moodys confirmed the long-term A3 rating for approximately EUR 543 million of bonds issued by TI Group which, prior to the merger, had been under review for possible downgrade.
Alan Thomson, Financial Director of Smiths Group commented: We have now been given a very good rating by both of the leading agencies because we have a clear focus on the financial parameters which provide stability and a strong platform for growth.