We expect that Brown Forman's debt to EBITDA will increase from under 0.9 times as of July 2012, to over 1.5 times following the dividend payment and estimate that leverage at the company's April 2013 fiscal year end will be approximately 1.6 times while net debt to EBITDA will approximate 1.2 times. We generally view large one-time shareholder distributions as unfavorable to bondholders, but Brown Forman's strong cash flows, good liquidity and low leverage provide sufficient cushion for this distribution at this time. The company said that it is making the special payment in 2012 because of the uncertainty surrounding future dividend tax rates given the expiration of certain tax legislation at the end of the year.
For more information on Brown-Forman please see our credit research at www.moodys.com.
The principal methodology used in this rating was Moody's "Global Alcoholic Beverage Rating Methodology", which was published in September 2009 and is available on www.moodys.com.
Brown-Forman Corporation ("Brown-Forman"), based in Louisville, KY is a leading American wine and spirits company best known for its Jack Daniel's brand, on which it still relies heavily despite growing diversification in its product portfolio. Other well known brands include Finlandia vodka, Southern Comfort, el Jimador, Canadian Mist, Chambord, Woodford Reserve, Sonoma-Cutrer wines and others. Brown-Forman products are sold in more than 160 countries with the largest operations in the US, Mexico, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland. LTM July 2012 net sales reached $2.8 billion.
Linda Montag Senior Vice President Corporate Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653Peter H. Abdill, CFA MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653(C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
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|04.04.2012||Brown-Forman a buy||UBS AG|
|25.02.2005||Brown-Forman: Equal weight||Lehman Brothers|
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