Dow Jones Deal Won't Bust News Corp. Credit, Fitch Ratings Says

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By: E&P Staff Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings gave its seal of approval Wednesday to Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., saying it won't change News Corp.'s investment-grade rating.

"As Fitch has stated previously, News Corp. has significant flexibility and liquidity to fund this acquisition without affecting its ratings," the New York City agency said. "Even if funded without an equity component, pro forma gross leverage would be around 3.0 times, comfortably within Fitch's expectations for a 'BBB' rated diversified media company with News Corp.'s business risks."

Fitch now rates News Corp. at 'BBB,' its lowest investment-grade rating, and says its outlook is stable.

However, Fitch said it expects to lower the rating on Dow Jones' 3.875% senior unsecured note due February 2008 to 'BBB' with a stable outlook from 'BBB+" with a negative outlook.

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