Global push puts Ajinomoto at risk of further downgrade


AJINOMOTO Co's global acquisitions push has drawn a warning of a further credit rating downgrade, as sales of monosodium glutamate flag in Japan.

The maker of food seasonings was cut by one level to A+ in December by Standard & Poor's after its debt-funded US$800 million purchase of the US frozen food producer Windsor Quality Holdings LP.

Ajinomoto may have room to spend US$1 billion more on such deals before a ranking review is warranted, S&P said. Its 1.89 per cent notes due September 2020 have lost 0.43 per cent this year, versus a 0.16 per cent drop in local corporate bonds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch data show.

Faced with a falling population at home, Ajinomoto is trying to expand...

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