28/12/2017 14:20 SAST | Updated 28/12/2017 14:21 SAST

Moody's Ratings Agency Downgrades Steinhoff Sharply

Agency recognises the financial flexibility offered within the group's listed investments, but does not know if they can be monetised quickly enough.

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Ratings agency Moody's on Thursday announced that it has downgraded Steinhoff International Holdings NV and Steinhoff Investments, Fin24 has reported.

The ratings agency has assigned a Caa1 "corporate family rating" to the two companies, and a "national scale corporate family rating" to Steinhoff Investment Holdings.

According to Moody's, the "corporate family rating" is an "opinion of a corporate family's ability to honour all of its financial obligations, and is assigned to a corporate family as if it had a single class of debt and a single consolidated legal entity structure".

The agency has made several changes –– which include downgrading the "backed senior unsecured notes rating" of Steinhoff Europe AG to Caa1 from B1, and the assigning of a Caa1-PD "probability of default rating" (PDR) to Steinhoff and Steinhoff Investment Holdings.

The ratings agency said that the latest rating decisions recognise the financial flexibility offered by Steinhoff's listed investments, but added that in its view, Steinhoff may not be able to monetise these assets in a timely manner under current circumstances.

According to Fin24, at the time of the announcement at 11:50am, Steinhoff shares traded 0.87% firmer at R4.66 on the JSE.