TEXT-S&P: International Paper rtg unaffected by Temple-Inland deal
Dec 13 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today its ratings on International Paper Co. (BBB/Stable/--) and Georgia-Pacific LLC (A/Stable/--) are unchanged following International Paper's announcement that it agreed to sell its Temple-Inland Building Products division for $750 million to Georgia-Pacific. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and doesn't significantly change our view of either company's financial risk assessments or prospective credit measures. We expect that the transaction will result in additional debt repayment for International Paper and that the company's metrics will improve such that leverage declines to approximately 3x by the end of 2013. For Georgia-Pacific, we believe the transaction will be funded in a manner that doesn't change our view of the company's strong liquidity position and overall creditworthiness. Georgia-Pacific's liquidity was estimated to be in excess of $3 billion as of Sept. 30, 2012.