Altice credit rating outlook downgraded to negative at Moody's

Thursday 7 December 2017 | 09:18 CET | News

Moody's has changed from stable to negative its outlook for Altice Luxembourg, Altice International and SFR, while affirming their long-term B1 CFR ratings.

Altice International and Altice Luxembourg had previously moved from a negative to stable outlook at the end of May, when Moody's highlighted the group's improved performance in several markets, while noticing that the ratings remained weakly positioned over the next eighteen months.

Downgrading the outlook back to negative, the agency drew attention to the revenue drop in France and Portugal over the third quarter, as well as management changes at SFR at a critical time for the business.

Commenting on SFR's outlook, the agency said that the company would need to monetise its media content investments in the very competitive French market, adding that it did not expect positive free cash flow generation in 2018.

Altice announced in November that it planned to de-leverage its balance sheet and, to this end, it was considering the sale of non-core assets. Moody's said that it was encouraged by Altice's commitment to reduce debt through asset disposals, and said that its outlook did not contemplate any significant new debt-financed acquisitions for the group.

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