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DUFF & PHELPS CREDIT RATING CO. ADDS BELL ATLANTIC CAPITAL FUNDING CORP. AND BELL ATLANTIC FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. TO RATING WATCH - DOWN

 CHICAGO, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has placed the debt securities of Bell Atlantic Capital Funding Corp. (BEL-CF) and Bell Atlantic Financial Services, Inc. (BEL-FS) on Rating Watch - Down. The notes of BEL-CF and BEL-FS are rated `A+' (Single-A- Plus). The debt of BEL-CF is unconditionally guaranteed by its parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (BEL), while the debt of BEL-FS is subject to a support agreement from the parent.
 This action was taken as a result of the announcement that Bell Atlantic plans to invest up to $1.04 billion to ultimately acquire a 42 percent economic interest in Iusacell, S. A. de C. V., a Mexican cellular company and the second largest telecommunications company in Mexico. Iusacell owns 100 percent of and operates the non-wireline cellular license for Mexico City, as well as owning controlling interests in cellular licenses in three surrounding regions. In addition to its cellular interests, Iusacell has a nationwide radiotelephony license which it intends to use to provide telecommunication services throughout Mexico.
 Bell Atlantic has announced its intention to finance this investment initially with short-term debt. This debt will ultimately be paid down through a combination of internally generated funds and equity financing from employee and dividend plans. The added debt will reduce Bell Atlantic's pre-tax interest coverages by approximately 30 basic points and increase its debt to cash flow from 2.3 times to 2.6 times. The Duff and Phelps review will focus on the appropriateness of BEL-CF and BEL-FS's current ratings in light of the modest increase in financial leverage as a result of the Iusacell investment coupled with the increasingly competitive environment facing telecommunications companies today and the probability of further major investments as Bell Atlantic pursues its goal of providing broadband services. The review will also assess Bell Atlantic's willingness to fund future investments in part with equity, the current earnings and cash flow of Iusacell, and the potential for further investment in Iusacell by Bell Atlantic.
 Bell Atlantic Corporation, through its Network Services Group provides local telecommunications services in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Through other subsidiaries, Bell Atlantic also provides wireless communications; business systems including: hardware, software and systems integration; and financial services. In conjunction with Ameritech Corporation, Bell Atlantic owns just under 50 percent of Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: James J. Stork, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3125/
 (BEL)


CO: Bell Atlantic Capital Funding Corp.; Bell Atlantic Financial
 Services, Inc. ST: IN: FIN SU: RTG


CK -- NY050 -- 0811 10/11/93 17:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993
Words:439
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