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05 Jun 2009
Approximately $890 million of debt securities affected.
New York, June 05, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service changed Newport Television Holdings LLC's ("Newport")
Probability of Default Rating to Caa2/LD, from Caa2, and placed
all ratings under review for possible downgrade. The "/LD" designation
signifies Moody's view that Newport's recently disclosed open market
debt repurchases constitute an event of default, which also applies
to future term loan repurchases effected according to the terms of a recent
tender offer. We note that the company is not currently in default
under the terms of its credit agreement. We expect to remove the
"/LD" addendum designation on the PDR shortly.
Details of the rating actions are as follows:
Ratings changed and placed under review for possible downgrade:
Newport Television Holdings LLC
Probability of Default rating -- to Caa2/LD from Caa2
Ratings placed under review for possible downgrade:
Newport Television Holdings LLC
Corporate Family rating - currently Caa2
Senior Discount Notes -- currently Ca
Newport Television LLC
Senior secured credit facility (including High Plains Broadcasting Operating
Company LLC)-- currently B3
Senior PIK Toggle Notes -- currently Caa3
The change in the Probability of Default rating to Caa2/LD is prompted
by Newport's recent disclosure that it has repurchased approximately
$50 million of senior secured term loans at a significant discount
on the open market, which Moody's deems to be tantamount to a default.
In addition, the company has launched a tender offer to repurchase
additional term loans.
The review for possible downgrade will consider (1) the reduction of debt
which will result from currently planned debt repurchases, (2) the
impact which debt repurchases will have upon Newport's leverage
and liquidity metrics, (3) the company's ability to remain
compliant with senior secured financial covenants which tighten markedly
starting Q409, (4) the probability that Newport can generate positive
free cash flow over the near term, (5) whether the pace of decline
in market spending on national and local TV advertising will moderate
over the near term, and (6) the likelihood that management may consider
further restructuring measures.
The last rating action was on December 15, 2008 when Moody's downgraded
Newport's CFR and PDR, each to Caa2.
For the assignment of this rating, Moody's has used its methodology
for the Global Broadcast Industry, which can be found at www.moodys.com
in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings
Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that
may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also
be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Newport Television
Holdings LLC operates TV stations in 22 markets.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Changes Newport Television's PDR to Caa2/LD, Initiates Review Down
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
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