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|Standard & Poors Ratings on UnitedAuto Group, Inc. Affirmed; Removed From Creditwatch|
|DETROIT, MI, AUGUST 6, 1999 - UnitedAuto Group, Inc. (NYSE: UAG), the nation's second largest publicly traded automotive retailer announced today that Standard and Poors affirmed its single "B" + plus corporate credit and single "B" - minus subordinated debt ratings on UnitedAuto Group, Inc. on August 4, 1999. The ratings were removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed April 1, 1999, with "developing" implications. Standard & Poors also noted that "the outlook is stable."
According to the Standard & Poors press release, "The rating affirmations follow the announcement that Penske Capital Partners, LLC (unrated) has completed an $83 million capital investment in United Auto Group. The investment by Penske Capital Partners reverses the erosion in United Auto Group's financial profile that resulted from weak operating results during 1997 and 1998." The S&P release further stated: "The operating performance of the company has improved somewhat this year, due to strong retail demand for new and used vehicles." In addition, S&P cited the "new $1 billion financing arrangement" which is to be used for acquisitions, working capital and inventory financing.
Commenting on the announcement, Roger S. Penske, Chairman stated: "We are pleased with the statement by Standard & Poors that affirmed our credit ratings, removed UnitedAuto from CreditWatch and changed the outlook from Developing to Stable. The action taken by Standard & Poors provides tangible evidence to our investors that the financial and operational changes being made at the company are significant and that UnitedAuto is being positioned for future growth."
UnitedAuto, which has pursued a strategy based on internal growth from its existing dealerships as well as from strategic acquisitions, operates 103 franchises in 16 states and Puerto Rico. UnitedAuto dealerships sell new and used vehicles and market a complete line of aftermarket automotive products and services.
This press release contains forward-looking information, and actual results may materially vary from those expressed or implied herein. Factors, including economic conditions, manufacturer approvals and acquisition risks that could affect these results are described in reports and documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.