KKR Contributes Extra Equity Into Specialty Chemicals Co.

  • 06 Jul 2003
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Rockwood Specialties Group is refinancing debt with $535 million in new credit facilities that will reduce pressures caused by debt maturities over the intermediate term under the existing bank agreement. Equity sponsor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., which has contributed $312 million of capital since Rockwood's recapitalization from Laporte LLC in September 2000, will contribute an additional $25 million of equity to Rockwood. Stable earnings and cash flow, combined with high leverage of 6.5 times debt-to-EBITDA, has led Moody's Investors Service to assign a B1 rating and Standard & Poor's to assign a B+ rating to Rockwood's new credit facility. Officials at Rockwood declined comment.

The new bank debt comprises a six-year, $100 million senior secured revolver; a six-year, $100 million senior secured term loan "A"; and a seven-year, $335 million senior secured term loan "B." The performance additives, specialty compounds and electronics company's proposed $375 million senior subordinated notes were assigned a B3 rating by Moody's and a B- rating by S&P.

Moody's has expressed concern that Princeton, N.J.-based Rockwood's collateral may not cover amounts outstanding in a distressed situation and that Rockwood will only be able to achieve a modest amount of debt reduction over the next several years, even with expected increases in earnings and cash flow. Profitability has also been under pressure because of the general economic slowdown and the weak electronics end market, Moody's added. But the ratings reflect the company's diverse line of specialty chemical products which lends stability to earnings and cash flow generation and balances the cyclical swings in the electronics and construction markets, said S&P. Rockwood has competitive market positions in niche areas, good geographic diversity and a broad customer base, noted S&P.


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  • 06 Jul 2003

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