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AMERICAN STORES COMPANY DEBT UPGRADED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE

AMERICAN STORES COMPANY DEBT UPGRADED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE
 SALT LAKE CITY, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- American Stores Co. (NYSE: ASC) announced that Moody's Investors Service has upgraded its senior and convertible subordinated debt ratings to Baa3 and Ba1, respectively, from Ba1 and Ba3. In addition the company's rating for commercial paper was raised to Prime-3 from Not Prime. These ratings, which are effective immediately, are consistent with the investment grade ratings currently in place at both Standard & Poor's Rating Group and Fitch Investors Service Inc. The Moody's rating changes affect all of American Stores Co.'s outstanding public debt.
 Since the acquisition of Lucky Stores Inc. in 1988, American Stores Co. has embarked on an aggressive recapitalization program. This program included the sale of underperforming assets and the reduction of debt. As a result, the company's debt to capitalization ratio has fallen from 77 percent to just below 60 percent presently.
 Victor L. Lund, co-chief executive officer and vice chairman of the board, stated, "We are very pleased by the decision to upgrade our debt ratings. This upgrade is a reaffirmation of American Stores Co.'s aggressive financial restructuring program." He continued, "This program coupled with our current $2 billion three year capital expenditure plan has left the company well positioned for the future. We believe this will allow us to enhance our competitive position in the markets we serve."
 American Stores Co. is a holding company with 1991 sales of $20.8 billion. Its three wholly owned subsidiaries are:
 -- Jewel Companies Inc., which operates Acme Markets Inc., the market share leader in Philadelphia; Jewel Food Stores, the market share leader in the Chicago area; and Star Market Company, one of Boston's leading food retailers;
 -- Lucky Stores Inc., California's leading food retailer with grocery and combination stores throughout the state; and
 -- American Drug Stores Inc., which operates Osco Drug, the Chicago area's market share leader, and Sav-On Drug, the market leader in the greater Los Angeles area.
 As of June 27, 1992, the company's grocery and combination stores subsidiaries operated 939 stores and American Drug Stores operated the drug side of 143 of those combination stores and 556 stand-alone stores.
 -0- 7/27/92
 /CONTACT: Cal Drecksel (investors) or Meredith Anderson (media) of American Stores, 801-539-0112/
 (ASC) CO: American Stores Company ST: Utah IN: REA SU:


CH -- LA015 -- 3535 07/27/92 12:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 27, 1992
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