TEXT-S&P raises Millennium Inorganic Chemicals debt rating

Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:08pm EST

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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.
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