TEXT-S&P ups Italian utility Edison to 'BBB'; outlook positive
(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Dec 20 -
-- As of September 2012 Electricite de France fully controls Italian utility Edison SpA and manages Edison's cash and funding. We expect EDF to provide Edison with necessary and timely financial and operational support, in line with our criteria on parent-subsidiary links.
-- We believe Edison's shareholder restructuring and successful arbitration on gas contracts support its liquidity and credit metrics.
-- We are raising our ratings on Edison to 'BBB/A-2' from 'BB+/B' and withdrawing the '3' recovery rating on Edison's debt.
-- The positive outlook reflects the possibility of another upgrade within two years, under our criteria for parent-subsidiary links, on evidence of ongoing support and stronger visibility on EDF's gas strategy and long-term plans for Edison.
On Dec. 20, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long- and short-term corporate credit ratings on Italy-based utility Edison SpA to 'BBB/A-2' from 'BB+/B'. The outlook remains positive. At the same time, we withdrew the '3' recovery ratings on Edison's senior unsecured debt.
The upgrade follows the completion of the long-delayed restructuring of Edison's ownership structure and Edison's successful arbitration on gas supply contracts. In September this year Electricite de France S.A. (EDF; A+/Stable/A-1) gained full control of Edison, with almost 100% of the voting rights, after its successful tender offer for minority shares, which resulted in Edison's delisting. Then in September and October courts of arbitration ruled in Edison's favor regarding gas supply contracts with RasGas and Eni SpA (A/Negative/A-1).
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