- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Fitch Ratings said Monday it has placed Sun Microsystems Inc. on watch for possible ratings upgrade following news of its planned $7.4 billion buyout by Oracle Corp.

Fitch currently has an issuer default rating of “BBB-” _the lowest investment-grade rating _ on Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun, which makes software and servers. Separately, Fitch affirmed its “A” rating on business software maker Oracle.

The acquisition, which has been approved by Sun’s board, is expected to close this summer. IBM Corp. had retracted an earlier buyout offer.

Also Monday, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services placed its “BB+” corporate credit rating on Sun on CreditWatch with positive implications. The rating, which is one notch below investment grade, was previously on CreditWatch with developing implications. If Sun’s rated debt remains outstanding, the ratings agency said it will likely equalize the ratings with those for Oracle.

Sun’s shares rose $2.46, or 37 percent, to close at $9.15. Oracle’s shares fell 24 cents to finish at $18.82.

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