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FIGGIE INTERNATIONAL DEBT RATED 'BBB-' BY DUFF & PHELPS

 CHICAGO, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned an initial rating of "BBB-" (Triple-B-Minus) to the senior unsecured debt of Figgie International. Approximately $180 million of public debt is outstanding.
 The investment grade rating recognizes the relative stability of the cash flows generated by Figgie International's diversified business segments. These cash flows are expected to be more than adequate to meet debt obligations. The company's more important product lines include various safety and fire protection products, Rawlings-brand sporting goods, electronic components, and material handling and packaging systems. Each of these major businesses has been consistently profitable for more than 10 years.
 Duff & Phelps' rating also recognizes the increasing competitiveness Figgie International has experienced in some of its business segments which has led to a declining trend in overall operating cash flows over the past three years. To reverse this trend and improve profitability, management has focused on cost reduction while spending heavily to modernize its core businesses. This spending is expected to eventually improve the company's competitiveness and cash flows. However, over the near term this spending is limiting free cash flow and, therefore, the company's ability to reduce debt. Furthermore, management's efforts to turn around some of its troubled segments, if initially unsuccessful, may require further rationalizing or disposing of certain product lines.
 Figgie has announced ambitious objectives for expanding internationally in product lines congruent with existing operations. However, we note the mixed success of recent acquisitions and the important competitive issues still to be resolved domestically which will require senior management's attention.
 Pressure on profitability combined with capital investments has contributed to increased use of financial leverage.
 Debt-to-total-capital including operating leases was 58 percent at year end 1992. We project gradual improvement in this ratio due to restructuring efforts, although there is a potential that this improvement could be delayed by acquisition spending. Fixed charge coverage fell to 1.8 times during the recessionary conditions of 1992, and we expect that 1993 will also be near 2 times.
 -0- 5/25/93
 /CONTACT: William T. Hayes, CFA of Duff & Phelps, 312-368-3142/
 (FIGI)


CO: Figgie International Inc. ST: Virginia IN: SU: RTG

TS -- NY085 -- 2270 05/25/93 15:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 25, 1993
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