NEW YORK, Sept 25 Fitch Ratings put AIG's
(AIG.N) aircraft leasing unit, International Lease Finance
Corp. on negative rating watch on Friday, citing concerns
whether the company could be sold in a way that would keep its
ratings at investment grade level.
"The placement of ILFC's ratings on Rating Watch Negative
essentially reflects heightened concerns and uncertainty
surrounding efforts to execute a sale of the company that would
preserve its investment-grade capital structure," Fitch said in
a statement. The rating watch went to "negative" from
Fitch downgraded ILFC's Preferred Stock rating to B from
Approximately $19 billion of debt is affected by these
actions, the rating agency said.
Because of the time it is taking AIG to divest ILFC and
also due to "on-going difficult capital market conditions,
Fitch now believes that such a scenario is unlikely
to occur," the rating agency said.
ILFC's senior unsecured debt is rated BBB.
(Reporting by John Parry; Editing by Andrew Hay)