KPN faces possible S&P credit rating cut

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Dutch operator KPN faces the threat of a possible cut in its credit rating if its debt situation does not improve in 2013.

According to a Reuters report, the warning came from credit rating agency Standard & Poor's, which remains unimpressed by KPN's efforts to deal with its debt.

"The negative outlook reflects the risk of a one-notch downgrade within the next 18 months if KPN's adjusted credit metrics deteriorate significantly more than we expect in 2012, or fail to be restored within more commensurate levels for the rating by year-end 2013," S&P said.

S&P confirmed its BBB credit rating, which is still an investment grade level. Ratings agency Moody's already has a negative outlook on KPN's Baa2 debt rating, also an investment-grade rating.

KPN is meanwhile looking at a variety of measures across its footprint to help save on costs and reduce debt, including a possible network-sharing deal with Telefónica's O2 Germany following the failure of efforts by Telefónica to acquire KPN's German unit E-Plus. The potential sales tag for this deal was rumoured to have been around €11 billion.

KPN has also sold nearly 2,000 towers belonging to its German network to American Tower for €393 million in cash. However, KPN's efforts to sell the BASE unit in Belgian were cancelled after it received "unsatisfactory" offers.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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