CNH SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE DEBT REDUCTION ACTION; SET DATE FOR REVERSE STOCK SPLIT
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Lake Forest, IL (March 27, 2003) CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH) today announced that the company's shareholders have approved plans to reduce the company's net debt by $2 billion through the issuance of convertible perpetual preferred securities to a financial affiliate of CNH's majority shareholder, Fiat S.p.A. The transaction is expected to close on April 3, 2003.
The company expects to use the proceeds of the transaction to repay Equipment Operations indebtedness owed to Fiat Group companies. On a December 31, 2002 pro forma basis, Equipment Operations net debt will drop to a level of about $1.5 billion, and the company's net debt-to-capitalization ratio will drop from 56% to 24%.
At today's extraordinary general meeting, shareholders also approved the company's plans to implement a 1-for-5 reverse split of the company's common stock. The reverse split will take effect on April 1, 2003.
CNH is the number one manufacturer of agricultural tractors and combines in the world, the third largest maker of construction equipment, and has one of the industry's largest equipment finance operations. Revenues in 2002 totaled $10 billion. Based in the United States, CNH's network of dealers and distributors operates in over 160 countries. CNH agricultural products are sold under the Case IH, New Holland and Steyr brands. CNH construction equipment is sold under the Case, FiatAllis, Fiat Kobelco, Kobelco, New Holland, and O&K brands. Visit us at www.cnh.com