Findus gets credit rating upgraded to B3

Moody’s: ‘the scandal had a limited impact on sales’

Findus has been given a major boost as it recovers from the horsemeat scandal earlier this year, with an improved credit rating.

Moody’s updated its rating on the back of Findus’ recent £410m bond issue launch.

It assigned a B3 rating to Findus Pledgeco - the holding company of the Findus bond - two notches up from its previous Caa2 rating.

Moody’s issued a provisional B3 rating in July but following the bond launch, it has now given a definitive B3 rating. It has also updated its rating outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’.

Findus said the rating reflected the stabilisation of operating performance, and acknowledged its potential to improve revenue and margins. It also recognised the removal of capital structure uncertainty the bond brings.

“Moody’s have been convinced to give Findus ‘benefit of the doubt’ which is exceptional,” said a spokesman.

In July, Moody’s said the scandal had had a limited impact on Findus’ performance - sales from affected products having accounted for less than 1% of total sales. But it added: “It remains too early to be definitive about the broad impact on the brand.”