Maersk fighting to retain credit rating
The world’s biggest container shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk may consider selling assets or cutting dividends as it seeks to retain its credit rating, the company said on Tuesday.
Maersk’s Baa1 credit rating was put under review for a downgrade by Moody’s in September, after it announced it would split up the company to focus on the shipping business and spin off its energy assets.
Last month, Standard & Poor’s lowered the company’s credit rating to BBB from BBB+ with a negative outlook.
“We would like to send a very clear message today that we are committed to remain investment grade rated,” Chief Executive Soren Skou told investors at its capital markets day in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
Cheap financing was a key argument of having a diversified business, but as the Danish conglomerate is split up, it also becomes more exposed to the cyclical changes in the shipping industry.
Skou said the company aimed to reduce capital expenditure in its transport and logistics division from around $6 billion this year to $5.5 billion next year and $4 billion in 2018, while keeping new investments in its energy business at a minimum.
Maersk’s energy business accounted for more than one-third of the company’s EBITDA in the first nine months of the year.
“If it becomes necessary, we will also look at divestments and other cash flow enhancing measures,” Skou said.
“Last month, Standard & Poor’s lowered the company’s credit rating to BBB from BBB+ with a negative outlook.”
very significant..it was just a few months ago hanjin went bankrupt and they were the worlds third biggest..now this..hows the BDI looking lately?