AB InBev suffers Moody’s credit rating downgrade as it struggles to pare down huge debt

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s credit rating has been slashed to the lowest tier of investment-grade, according to Moody’s Investors Service, which warned that the company is struggling to reduce its $100bn debt load.

The credit rating firm said it lowered the brewer’s Senior Unsecured debt ratings to Baa1 from A3, putting the company three levels away from junk rating, Moody’s said on Monday.

Depreciating currencies in emerging-markets are to blame for the brewer’s woes as it has sapped profits from the beer giant, leaving the company’s debt five times earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation (ebitda), Moody’s said. AB InBev has the biggest debt load in the global food industry, according to the credit rating firm.

“Deleveraging is behind original expectations due largely to foreign currency fluctuations and under-performance of certain emerging economies,” Moody’s said.

Moody’s expects the brewer to reduce its debt load to about four times ebitda in the next two years, otherwise it could see further downgrade.

Credit investors have become concerned of the company as its financial position has deteriorated.

Standard & Poor’s has an A- rating on AB InBev’s long term debt, which has been on review for downgrade since March 2017.

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