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Moody's affirms ratings on Hikma Pharmaceuticals

Moody's affirmed Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC's Ba1 corporate family rating, Ba1-PD probability of default rating and the Ba1 instrument rating on its existing senior unsecured bond.

The outlook on all ratings is stable.

Moody's said the affirmation reflects the London-based pharmaceutical company's recent good performance against price pressures, particularly in the U.S., along with a good product pipeline and strong credit metrics due to a conservative balance sheet structure.

According to the rating agency, the positive factors are balanced by Hikma's relatively small scale and moderate margins. Additionally, the rating agency expects a slowdown in growth due to downward pricing pressure in the retail generic market in the U.S.

Moody's also identified political instability in the Middle East and North Africa region along with acquisition-related events as risks for the manufacturer of generic and branded pharmaceuticals.

The rating agency expects Hikma to maintain adjusted gross debt/EBITDA in the range of 1.2x to 1.4x over the next 12 to 18 months, assuming the company refinances a $500 million bond that will mature in April 2020.

Moody's believes the company will not be able to address the bond maturity through available cash. However, Hikma's committed facilities and cash balances will be sufficient to repay the debt.