Findus products

Findus has received a boost from credit agency Moody’s

Findus’ parent company has been given an improved credit rating on the back of its recent £410m bond issue launch.

Moody’s has assigned a B3 rating to Findus Pledgeco, the holding company of the Findus bond – an improvement of two notches on 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 assigned a B3 rating to the £410m equivalent senior secured notes, following the bond launch, due in 2018.

Findus said Moody’s improved rating reflected the stabilisation of its operating performance, and acknowledged the company’s potential to improve revenue and margins. It also recognised the removal of capital structure uncertainty afforded by the bond.  

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

In July, Moody’s said the horsemeat scandal and adverse media coverage had had a limited impact on the company’s performance – the contribution of sales from affected products having accounted for less than 1% of the company’s total sales. However, it said: “It remains too early to be definitive about the broad impact on the brand.”

Moody’s has also updated its outlook from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ for Findus Pledgeco.