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Allegheny on Standard & Poor's needy list

November 01, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Allegheny Energy Inc. is one of the U.S. power companies most in need of refinancing, according to a Standard & Poor's study released in October.

S&P ranked the top 10 companies most in need of refinancing based on different factors.

Allegheny was on all four lists compiled, topping the list based on percentage of total capital, according to the report.

Allegheny Energy needs to refinance almost $2.7 billion by the end of 2006.

That debt accounts for 37 percent of the company's total capital and 52 percent of Allegheny's total debt, according to the study.

The next company on the list was TXU Corp. TXU needs to refinance $4.7 billion through 2006, with that debt accounting for 34 percent of the company's total debt, according to S&P.

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S&P has a negative outlook for Allegheny's credit rating despite significant steps the company took this year to refinance debt and avoid filing for bankruptcy protection.

One of those steps was a $2.4 billion refinancing deal the energy company landed in February with large payments due in 2004 and 2005.

In a Sept. 25 conference call, Allegheny's corporate leaders said they would work to get another refinancing deal so they would have longer to pay back the $2.4 billion.

Company officials also discussed trying to sell more assets - possibly Mountaineer Gas - and perhaps having a public stock offering to raise more cash.

Allegheny Energy officials could not be reached Friday for comment on the S&P study.

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