Fitch upgrades Digicel a notch to B
Published 03/06/2011 | 05:00
RATINGS agency Fitch has upgraded the issuer rating for Denis O'Brien's Digicel Group by one notch to B. The upgrade lifts the rating across $3.5bn (€2.4bn) of bonds to B from CCC. It's the first rating change by the agency since Digicel agreed a $350m deal to sell some assets to Mexico's America Movil.
Fitch said it views the overall long-term effect of the transaction with America Movil as positive to credit quality.
Fitch said the rating actions reflect Digicel's "strong operating performance, diversified revenue, cash flow generation, improved free cash-flow generation".
The agency said the upgrade is supported by Digicel's leading position in most of its markets, and by strong brand recognition.
The B rating is close to the top of the non-investment grade scale, and is used for companies where the financial situation can vary.
Fitch views the overall long-term effect of the transaction with America Movil as positive to credit quality and will strengthen its competitive position in the key Jamaican market.
Digicel has around 11.5 million customers across the markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific.