Fitch Affirms Campbells Soups IDRs at A-/F2; Withdraws Ratings

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the following ratings of Campbell Soup Company (Campbell’s) and simultaneously withdrew the ratings. Fitch has decided to discontinue the rating, which is uncompensated.

–Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A-‘;

–Senior unsecured debt at ‘A-‘;

–Senior unsecured credit facility at ‘A-‘;

–Short-term IDR at ‘F2’;

–Commercial paper (CP) at ‘F2’.

The Rating Outlook is Stable.

Campbell’s ratings incorporate the substantial increase in leverage incurred for the $1.6 billion debt financed acquisition of Bolthouse Farms (Bolthouse), which closed in August 2012. Initial pro forma leverage (total debt to EBITDA) is in the high 2x range, which is well above the 1.6x-1.8x leverage range Campbell’s has maintained over the past several years. The Stable Outlook reflects that debt reduction and modest EBITDA growth should bring leverage down to the low 2x range within 18 to 24 months of the transaction’s close.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

–‘Corporate Rating Methodology’ (Aug. 8, 2012).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Corporate Rating Methodology