Delta refinery deal a potential credit negative: Moody's

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Moody's Investor Service considers Delta Air Lines' $180 million deal to buy the Trainer oil refinery a potential negative to the carrier's credit rating.

Delta announced plans to buy the refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania, through its newly formed Monroe Energy subsidiary from Phillips 66 on 30 April. The deal benefits from $30 million in state government financing from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for job creation and infrastructure development.

The rating agency says owning and operating a refinery poses "potentially significant operating and financial risks" to Delta in a research note.

The airline claims that the move could save it up to $300 million annually.

Standard & Poor's also says that the move commits Delta to owning and operating a business "outside of its expertise" but does not see it as material to the airline's credit rating.

Delta plans to close the acquisition before the end of the second quarter.