WorldCom CEO John Sidgemore has assured investors that a credit ratings cut would not affect the company’s liquidity. He also discussed possible asset sales to reduce costs and raise money to control the company’s debt.
Sidgemore said that he bulk of asset sales would come out of the company’s IP, data and local businesses, but not from core backbone assets such as its European and Asian network. Sidgemore also suggested that sales could come out of the company’s wireless retail business, individual country units and some acquired technologies.
Moody’s Investor Services cut its rating on WorldCom debt to Ba2 from Baa2, pushing it to Junk status. Initial fears that the downgrade would pull ratings triggers in the company’s accounts receivable securitization facility, a form of credit used to create liquidity, provoked a share sell-off.
The company is in talks with banks to replace its current accounts receivable securitization program with a new program in order to eliminate credit rating triggers. The company’s lenders have issued a waiver on that facility, and the company expects that the new program will be in place by May 23, 2002, when the waiver expires.