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Huntsman Responds to S&P Action

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Standard & Poor's Rating Services (S&P) today announced a lowering of its credit rating to 'B' on Huntsman Corporation's (NYSE: HUN) corporate credit rating.

In response to S&P's action, Huntsman reaffirms that its operations are sound and that its liquidity is ample to weather the current global economic recession. Huntsman has met the challenging operating environment by putting in action a plan to reduce annualized costs by $150 million and reduce 2009 capital expenditures by approximately $190 million compared to the previous year.

Huntsman has no significant near term debt maturities until the second half of 2010 when its $650 million revolver matures in August and when its $296 million of senior secured notes mature in October. It intends on renewing its accounts receivable securitization facility when it matures in November 2009.

Huntsman expects to have more than $1 billion of liquidity at the end of the first quarter 2009 and be in full compliance with its single maintenance financial covenant. Liquidity may be enhanced further in 2009 through resolution of the pending multi billion dollar suit against Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, which is scheduled for court ordered mediation on May 11, 2009 and trial, if necessary, to commence on June 8, 2009. Further, Huntsman has claims outstanding in excess of $235 million relating to its 2006 Port Arthur Texas fire claim for which binding arbitration is scheduled later this year.

Peter R. Huntsman, its President and CEO, stated: "In spite of a prolonged disruption in the global economy, Huntsman's long term prospects are bright. Our business footprint is global and well diversified. We expect to prosper as the world economies are restored and as governments continue to make available trillions of dollars of stimulus monies. Further, our board of directors has been deliberate in stating that our present liquidity will be preserved and used prudently in addressing forthcoming debt maturities."

About Huntsman:

Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has more than 12,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide. The Company had 2008 revenues exceeding $10 billion. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the Company's website at

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company's operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies' filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. In addition, the completion of any transactions described in this release is subject to a number of uncertainties and closing will be subject to approvals and other customary conditions. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that such transactions will be completed or that the company's expectations will be realized. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by applicable laws.

SOURCE Huntsman Corporation
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