TEXT-S&P raises Millennium Inorganic Chemicals debt rating
OVERVIEW -- Hunt Valley, Md.-based titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Millennium Inorganic Chemicals has reduced its reported debt, resulting in improved recovery prospects on its debt. -- We are raising our issue-level ratings on the company's second-lien debt to 'BB-' from 'B+' and revising our recovery ratings to '4' from '5'. -- All of our other ratings, including the 'BB-' corporate credit rating, remain unchanged. The outlook is stable. -- The stable outlook reflects our expectations that TiO2 market conditions and operating performance will support consistent free cash flow generation and that the company will not increase debt to fund growth or distributions to shareholders. BOSTON (Standard & Poor's) Dec. 18, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today raised its issue-level rating on the Millennium Inorganic Chemicals' second-lien debt to 'BB-' from 'B+' and revised its recovery rating to '4' from '5', indicating our expectation for an average (30% to 50%) recovery in the event of a payment default. All of our other ratings, including the 'BB-' corporate credit rating, remain unchanged. The outlook is stable. The ratings on Millennium reflect the company's limited focus on cyclical markets subject to commodity product cycles and our limited visibility into its financial policy. Our expectation that the company will maintain good free cash flow and adequate liquidity partially offsets these risks. We characterize Millennium's business risk profile as "weak" and its financial risk profile as "significant". For the latest complete corporate credit rating rationale, see Standard & Poor's research update on Millennium Inorganic Chemicals dated Dec. 12, 2012. RATINGS LIST Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Corporate Credit Rating BB-/Stable/-- Rating Raised To From Cristal Inorganic Chemicals US, Inc. Senior Secured BB- B+ Recovery rating 4 5 Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column.