Friday, April 24, 2009

Moody's downgrades McClatchy on worries over debt load and advertising slump

Concerns over McClatchy's heavy debt burden and advertising outlook caused another downgrade today.

...Moody's downgraded the company's corporate family rating and probability of default rating two levels, to Caa1 from B2. Its senior secured bank credit facility rating was cut to B1 from Ba2 and senior unsecured notes fell to Caa2 from Caa1. The downgrades affect about $2.2 billion of debt.

The rating outlook is negative.

Moody's is concerned about Sacramento, Calif.-based McClatchy's debt level becoming "unsustainable" and it said there's a heightened risk that continued declines in revenue could make it breach debt covenants or trigger a restructuring over the next 12 to 24 months.

Moody's expects McClatchy's EBITDA to fall by about 30 percent this year.

Looks like Moody's wasn't swayed by Pruitt's lame answer about the chances of McClatchy breaching debt covenants in 2009.

Hat tip: email


Anonymous said...

Since these debt ratings are so confusing, maybe any MNI exec. who reads this blog can assist me.

What is the Moody's rating for MNI when it's kaput, er um bankrupt?

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy credit rating = D for default.

If a company offers alternative payments to debtholders at less than face value, that is also a technical default.

Anonymous said...

I am not an MNI executive (thank you god), but the answer for Moody's is C. Fitch and Standard and Poor both have a D rating but it only indicates the condition after the fact when the company has already defaulted and for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.