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GTE STOCK SALE A FURTHER STEP IN CREDIT IMPROVEMENT, FITCH SAYS -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 GTE STOCK SALE A FURTHER STEP IN CREDIT IMPROVEMENT, FITCH SAYS
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's announcement by GTE Corp. to sell an additional 30 million shares of common stock is another important step in the company's efforts to strengthen its capital structure and improve credit quality, Fitch says. The proceeds of the common stock offering will be used to pay down short-term debt. GTE's debentures are rated 'A' and its commercial paper is rated 'F-1'. The credit trend is improving.
 GTE has taken a number of concrete steps over the last year to reduce debt. The reduced leverage, coupled with ongoing improvement in cash flow and earnings from its telephone, cellular, and diversified operations, will help move credit quality measures to a level more consistent with the 'A' rating.
 In September 1991, the company announced its decision to restructure its diversified businesses through the sale of its lighting and precision materials business. Last month, GTE reached a definitive agreement with OSRAM, (a Siemens company) and a consortium of international investors to sell its lighting business for a total of approximately $1.1 billion, including the assumption of debt. The proceeds from that transaction will allow GTE to achieve further reductions in leverage. In January of this year, the company announced the sale to United Telecom of GTE's remaining 19.1 percent ownership of the US Sprint long distance operations for $530 million. Proceeds from that sale were used to reduce debt. Importantly, these transactions will also allow GTE to focus its resources on its core telecommunications businesses, including local telephone service in the U.S., international telephone operations, directories and government systems, and cellular operations.
 -0- 9/3/92
 /CONTACT: Timothy Cain of Fitch, 212-908-0587/
 (GTE) CO: GTE Corp. ST: Connecticut IN: TLS SU:


AH -- NY080 -- 6547 09/03/92 15:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 3, 1992
Words:308
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