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B-A-T CAPITAL CORP. $500 MILLION GUARANTEED BONDS RATED "A+" BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- B(asterisk)A(asterisk)T Capital Corp.'s (AMEX: BTI) proposed $500 million guaranteed bonds due 2003 are rated "A+" by Fitch. Principal and interest on the bonds are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by B-A-T Industries PLC and rank pari passu with that company's unsecured and unsubordinated obligations. The credit trend is stable.
 The ratings are based on the geographic diversity, magnitude, and stability of the B-A-T Industries core tobacco and insurance operations. Through its Brown & Williamson subsidiary, B-A-T ranks as the third largest tobacco company in the U.S. with particular strength in the growing price/value segment of the market. Concerns focus on the effects of the U.S. tobacco price war, the prospect of increased excise taxes on volumes, and the impact of the 75 percent content rule. Outside the U.S., B-A-T's tobacco operations are as large as Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco combined.
 B-A-T's insurance operations include Farmer's Group in the U.S. and Eagle Star and Allied Dunbar in the U.K. which offer a broad range of insurance and trust products with strong market presence. Eagle Stars' profitability continues to be positively impacted as unprofitable businesses sold are no longer an earnings drag, the domestic mortgage indemnity business continue to stabilize, and general insurance market conditions improve in Europe. Recent fires in California are not expected to have a material effect on Farmers' Group as losses are currently estimated at $58 million.
 Proceeds from this offering are to be used primarily to reduce outstanding commercial paper. Since the beginning of the year, B-A-T Capital has taken advantage of the low long-term interest rate environment to reduce its reliance on commercial paper. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, average CP outstandings have declined to $1.5 billion from $2.4 billion as recently as January. Fitch views these steps as positive and enhancing to B.A.T's financial flexibility.
 -0- 11/12/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas W. Hoens, 212-908-0569, or Lygia X. Campbell, 212-908-0695, both of Fitch/
 (BTI)


CO: B-A-T Capital Corp. ST: IN: SU: RTG

MP -- NY045 -- 3652 11/12/93 11:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1993
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