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R.P. SCHERER SENIOR DEBT SHELF RATED 'BBB-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire -- R.P. Scherer International Corp.'s $175 million multicurrency debt shelf registration is rated 'BBB-' by Fitch. R.P. Scherer Corp.'s (NYSE: SHR) outstanding $120 million senior subordinated debt is rated 'BB+'. This is the first time Fitch has been asked to rate the debt of Scherer. The credit trend is stable.
 Scherer is a leading international developer of oral drug delivery systems, including softgel and hardshell capsules and rapidly dissolving wafers. The company supplies delivery systems for over 4,000 products and holds approximately 75% of the worldwide softgel capsule market. The ratings reflect Scherer's success in reducing leverage, its strong coverage ratios, and cash flow from its leading market position in a defensible niche. Credit concerns include margin erosion in key European markets, a major capital expenditure program, and the ability to successfully integrate new acquisitions and rationalize European production.
 The company has reduced debt by approximately $200 million since fiscal year-end 1991, in part from proceeds from its October 1991 initial public offering, causing leverage to decline to 41% in March 1993 from over 100%. Two recent acquisitions have resulted in a modest increase in leverage to 46% as of Sept. 30, but it remains below the company's target of 50% debt to total capital.
 The company attained full year profitability in fiscal 1993, earning $29 million, in part due to reduced interest costs resulting from lower leverage. Six-month results showed a 5% increase in income from continuing operations as margin erosion in Europe was more than offset by reduced interest costs and dividends to minority interests.
 Scherer's prospects are favorable given the pharmaceutical industry's high barriers to entry and the company's strong worldwide product base. Once the company's capital expenditure program ends in 1996, Fitch expects Scherer to have substantial annual cash flow available for debt reduction or other discretionary purposes.
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas W. Hoens, CPA, 212-908-0569, or Nancy E. Stroker, CFA, 212-908-0533, both of Fitch/
 (SHR)


CO: R.P. Scherer International Corp.; R.P. Scherer Corp. ST: Michigan IN: MTC SU: RTG

JG -- NY022 -- 0162 12/03/93 10:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1993
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