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S&P Afms Rtgs on Sigma Finance’s CP/MTN Programs

S&P Afms Rtgs on Sigma Finance’s CP/MTN Programs

Business Editors

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 28, 2003

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today it affirmed its ‘AAA/A-1+’ ratings on Sigma Finance Corp., a limited purpose finance company, and on its wholly owned subsidiary (see list below).

The action follows an extensive review of key structural changes to Sigma’s senior U.S., European, and Australian CP and MTN programs, most significantly that Sigma will no longer be subject to defeasance (a mandatory sale of assets on a failure to cure a breach of certain triggers).

Instead, the structure will enter reversible remedial operating states–no growth and natural amortization–which, once certain triggers have been breached, allow for a partial or (if compliance with triggers is not reinstated) full orderly wind-down of the asset portfolio. Additionally, Sigma’s structural liquidity requirements have been doubled.

Standard & Poor’s will shortly be publishing an updated postsale article to reflect this and other recent changes.

Sigma is a limited purpose finance company, initially rated in January 1995, that issues debt securities in the European and Australian CP and MTN markets and invests these funds in a portfolio of highly rated securities. Sigma has one wholly owned subsidiary, Sigma Finance Inc., incorporated for the sole purpose of issuing and selling CP in the U.S. as a nominee for Sigma.

The ratings on the programs continue to be based on Standard & Poor’s assessment of Sigma’s structure, capital adequacy, and management track record.

Sigma’s investment activities must be managed within strict leverage, credit quality, and diversification limits. Sufficient capital support must be maintained on both a cash flow and market value basis to provide Sigma with the capability to perform on its obligations in full, on a timely basis.

The updated postsale on Sigma will be available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor’s Web-based credit analysis system, at www.ratingsdirect.com.

Alternatively, call one of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Desks: London (44) 20-7847-7400; Paris (33) 1-4420-6705; Frankfurt (49) 69-33-999-223; or Stockholm (46) 8-440-5916. Members of the media may contact the Press Office Hotline on (44) 20-7826-3605 or via media_europe@standardandpoors.com.

RATINGS LIST

Sigma Finance Corp.

$10 Billion European MTN Program, $10 Billion European CP Program,

A$3 Billion

Australian CP and MTN Program, $25 Billion U.S. MTN Program, and

$20 billion U.S. CP Program

Ratings Affirmed

Sigma Finance Corp.

Counterparty credit rating AAA/A-1+

Senior secured debt rating AAA

CP A-1+

Sigma Finance Inc.

Senior secured debt rating(a) AAA

CP(a) A-1+

(a)Guaranteed by Sigma Finance Corp.

ANALYST E-MAIL ADDRESSES

sarah_thomasmorgan@standardandpoors.com

perry_inglis@standardandpoors.com

StructuredFinanceEurope@standardandpoors.com

Copyright 2003, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services

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