MEMC Falls After Moody’s Downgrade Limits Access to Credit

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., the second-largest U.S. polysilicon maker, fell after a ratings downgrade “limited” its access to a credit line.

MEMC dropped 2.3 percent to $1.68 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 57 percent this year.

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded MEMC’s corporate family rating to B3 from B2 and its 2019 notes to Caa1 from B3 yesterday, while raising the company’s speculative grade liquidity rating to SGL-3 from SGL-4.

“As a result of the downgrade, we will be limited from making any additional borrowings under our North American non-recourse revolving construction facility,” Brian Wuebbels, the St. Peters, Missouri-based company’s chief financial officer, said yesterday in a statement.

MEMC said the downgrade won’t require it to accelerate repayment of about $110 million outstanding on the construction facility.

The company also may see a $15 million to $20 million reduction in its second-quarter cash balance, Wuebbels said. “We are comfortable with the company’s cash and liquidity position.”

The downgrade “reflects the financial distress in MEMC’s solar operations, which we expect will continue to burn cash for the near term,” Terry Dennehy, a Moody’s senior analyst, said in a statement.

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