S&P gives Pampa Calichera BB- rating

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has given Chilean holding company Pampa Calichera, which controls compatriot non-metallic miner SQM, a BB- rating and a stable outlook, S&P said in a report.

The agency also gave a BB- rating to Pampa Calichera's planned issue of US$250mn in secured notes to expire in 2022.

"Pampa's classification reflects the company's relatively high level of debt, an indicator of volatile debt that is expected to vary according to SQM's results, and our concern with respect to SQM's share structure," S&P analyst Pablo Lutereau said in the report.

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Pampa Calichera controls roughly 30.3% of SQM, one of the world's largest producers of industrial minerals such as nitrates, lithium, phosphates and iodine.

To read the full S&P report, go to this link