THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Standard & Poor's
Rating Services (S&P) today announced a lowering of its credit rating to 'B'
on Huntsman Corporation's (NYSE: HUN) corporate credit rating.
In response to S&P's action, Huntsman reaffirms that its operations are
sound and that its liquidity is ample to weather the current global economic
recession. Huntsman has met the challenging operating environment by putting
in action a plan to reduce annualized costs by $150 million and reduce 2009
capital expenditures by approximately $190 million compared to the previous
Huntsman has no significant near term debt maturities until the second
half of 2010 when its $650 million revolver matures in August and when its
$296 million of senior secured notes mature in October. It intends on
renewing its accounts receivable securitization facility when it matures in
Huntsman expects to have more than $1 billion of liquidity at the end of
the first quarter 2009 and be in full compliance with its single maintenance
financial covenant. Liquidity may be enhanced further in 2009 through
resolution of the pending multi billion dollar suit against Credit Suisse and
Deutsche Bank, which is scheduled for court ordered mediation on May 11, 2009
and trial, if necessary, to commence on June 8, 2009. Further, Huntsman has
claims outstanding in excess of $235 million relating to its 2006 Port Arthur
Texas fire claim for which binding arbitration is scheduled later this year.
Peter R. Huntsman, its President and CEO, stated: "In spite of a
prolonged disruption in the global economy, Huntsman's long term prospects are
bright. Our business footprint is global and well diversified. We expect to
prosper as the world economies are restored and as governments continue to
make available trillions of dollars of stimulus monies. Further, our board of
directors has been deliberate in stating that our present liquidity will be
preserved and used prudently in addressing forthcoming debt maturities."
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated
chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of
global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation,
textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology,
agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and
packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and,
later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has
more than 12,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide.
The Company had 2008 revenues exceeding $10 billion. For more information
about Huntsman, please visit the Company's website at www.huntsman.com.
Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking
statements. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and
expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to
uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties
that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices
and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies' filings with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties
may relate to, but are not limited to, financial, economic, competitive,
environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. In
addition, the completion of any transactions described in this release is
subject to a number of uncertainties and closing will be subject to approvals
and other customary conditions. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that
such transactions will be completed or that the company's expectations will be
realized. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any
forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise
required by applicable laws.
SOURCE Huntsman Corporation
CONTACT: Media, Russ Stolle, +1-281-719-6624, or Investors, Kurt Ogden,
+1-801-584-5959, both of Huntsman Corporation
Web Site: http://www.huntsman.com