COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 23, 2002 - Standard & Poor’s affirmed its BBB+ rating on American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) parent company senior unsecured debt and the A-2 rating on the company’s commercial paper program today while lowering ratings on other company entities in preparation for a planned corporate restructuring.

“We are pleased that S&P maintained its ratings in these two important areas and confirmed a stable outlook for the company and our subsidiaries,” said Susan Tomasky, AEP executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We were not surprised with other ratings changes announced by S&P in preparation for our restructuring, which we expect to complete later this year.”

AEP is awaiting regulatory approval for a corporate separation that will create a regulated utility subsidiary and a nonregulated energy subsidiary. S&P maintained the rating on the parent company debt based on AEP’s intent, as part of the restructuring, to implement legal means to make that debt pari passu with the rest of the debt in the corporate structure. In preparation for the corporate separation, S&P lowered the corporate credit rating to BBB+ from A- and lowered or assigned new ratings to various subsidiaries.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets. AEP, the United States’ largest electricity generator, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. and select international markets. AEP is a leading wholesale energy marketer, ranking among North America’s top providers of wholesale power and natural gas with a growing wholesale presence in European markets. In addition to electricity generation, AEP owns and operates natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines, and the fourth-largest inland barge company in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s wires. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

Pat D. Hemlepp
Director, Corporate Media Relations
American Electric Power