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Fitch assigns ratings to new Goodyear bank facilities

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Fitch Ratings has assigned indicative ratings to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s new domestic senior secured bank facilities, which the company announced earlier this week had been closed. The ratings follow.

* $1.5 billion asset-based first-lien revolving credit facility: "B+."

* $1.2 billion second-lien term loan: "B."

* $300 million third-lien term loan facility: "B-."

Fitch also affirmed its rating of "CCC+" for Goodyear's senior unsecured debt. The new bank facilities replace approximately $2.6 billion of existing domestic bank facilities. The Rating Outlook is "Stable."

In addition, Fitch has initiated an indicative rating of "B+" on new senior secured, first-lien European bank facilities for Goodyear's Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe B.V. subsidiary that were completed at the same time as Goodyear's domestic facilities. The new Goodyear Dunlop facilities consist of $650 million equivalent of euro-denominated revolving and term loan facilities and replaced a similar amount of existing bank facilities under which $400 million was outstanding at the end of 2004. The Rating Outlook is "Stable."

All of the new bank facilities mature in 2010 with the exception of the $300 million term loan that matures in 2011. The refinanced debt carries lower interest rates and extends the maturities on Goodyear's bank debt that had been scheduled to mature between 2005 and 2007.

At Dec. 31, 2004, Goodyear had approximately $5.7 billion of total debt outstanding on a consolidated basis, according to Fitch.

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