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NEWS AMERICA SENIOR DEBT RAISED TO 'BBB-', OFF FITCHALERT -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- News America Holdings, Inc's $550 million 9-1/8 percent senior notes due 1999 and $300 10-1/8 percent million senior debentures due 2012 are raised to BBB-' from BB+' and removed from FitchAlert. The notes rank pari passu with bank debt and are guaranteed by the company's parent, News Corp. Ltd., and subsidiaries. The credit trend is stable.
 The rating reflects the company's new issue of $500 million 8-5/8 percent senior notes due 2003 and $500 million 9-1/4 percent senior debentures due 2013. Proceeds of the offering will be used to reduce bank debt, thereby eliminating a significant scheduled principal repayment in 1994. With this refinancing, the company will be able to comfortably meet scheduled debt maturities over the next two years and accumulate a significant amount of cash. News Corp. is in the process of negotiating a new bank agreement which should further extend maturities.
 The investment grade rating also acknowledges News Corp.'s position as the third largest media company in the world and the benefits derived from its diversified business portfolio and strong market positions. The past two years were characterized by a sluggish global economy and lower spending on advertising. However, the company's financial flexibility has improved as a result of significant capital investment over the past three years, cash flow growth from the company's existing portfolio of media businesses, and a full year of lower financing costs.
 Offsetting these improvements is the financial exposure related to the company's investment in aircraft leasing activities. In addition, the newspaper and magazine publishing operating units depend heavily on advertising revenues and, as a result, continue to be affected by fluctuations in regional economies.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Keith B. Foley of Fitch, 212-908-0572/
 (NWS)


CO: News America Holdings, Inc. ST: New York IN: PUB SU: RTG

WB -- NY096 -- 3050 02/04/93 13:55 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 4, 1993
Words:315
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