Standard & Poors changed its credit watch for CMA CGM to positive from negative saying the French ocean carrier’s liquidity has “rebounded” in recent months due to its improved operating performance.
The ratings agency, which maintained CMA CGM’s CCC+ long-term corporate credit rating, said it expects the carrier’s liquidity to improve further over the coming months due to the likely closing of financial restructuring and equity injections.
S&P, which placed CMA CGM on CreditWatch with negative implications in March, said it could raise its ratings within the next three months “if we believed its operating performance and liquidity position have sufficiently and sustainably improved to be commensurate with a higher rating.”
CMA CGM reported positive operating cash flows, after interest payments, of $395 million in the first nine months of 2012 compared with about $25 million in 2011, S&P said.
The Marseille-based carrier also agreed to an equity deal with the French Fonds Strategique d’Investissement and the Turkish holding company Yildirim to subscribe redeemable bonds of $150 million and $100 million respectively.
The company is in the final stages of signing an agreement with a lender syndicate to extend and restructure a $500 million revolving credit facility due in February 2013 and amend the financial covenant package.