Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) confirmed yesterday Fortum Power and Heat AB’s (formerly known as Birka Energi AB) Baa1 corporate long-term credit rating with a stable outlook. Concurrently with confirming Fortum Power and Heat AB’s rating, Moody’s assigned a Baa2 rating with a positive outlook to Fortum Oyj. On 4 October 2002 Standard & Poor’s assigned a BBB+ rating with a stable outlook to both Fortum Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat AB.
The ratings assigned by Moody’s reflect the overall Fortum Group’s position as a leading Nordic player with strong positions in electricity generation, downstream distribution and supply as well as stable heat businesses. The rating also reflects the strong market position of Fortum’s Nordic midstream oil activities.
Moody’s has stated that the rating differential between Fortum Oyj and its wholly owned subsidiary Fortum Power and Heat AB is due to the current structural subordination, i.e. the fact that most of Fortum’s indebtedness currently resides in operating subsidiaries. Fortum intends to take actions in early 2003 that would eliminate the rating differential. Based on the statements made by Moody’s, Fortum would expect the Fortum Oyj rating to be upgraded to Baa1 when the structural subordination issue has been resolved.
The credit ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s provide Fortum’s investors with an objective third party opinion on the financial strength and stability of Fortum’s business and are intended to improve Fortum’s financial transparency and disclosure. Fortum is also seeking to maximize financial flexibility and the credit ratings facilitate access to a broader and deeper investor base.
Following the Q3 results announcement on 24 October 2002, Fortum will be hosting an additional fixed income investor and analyst conference call to discuss its strategy and financial performance.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
For further information, please contact:
Seppo Viitanen, Group Treasurer, tel. +358 10 452 4477