S&P Downgrades ‘Akron Beacon Journal’ Parent

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Monday lowered its long-term corporate credit rating and senior secured debt ratings on Black Press Ltd., saying the Canadian-based parent of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal and Honolulu Star-Bulletin is being squeezed by weak liquidity and an increasing debt burden.

S&P had already rated Black’s credit and debt as “junk,” or speculative-grade. The latest action downgraded the credit and debt ratings of Black’s U.S. and Canadian newspaper publishing subsidiaries to B- from B. By S&P’s definition, the lower rating suggests a company currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on an obligation, but “adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair” its capacity or willingness to meet the obligation.

More information about the ratings action is posted on E&P’s business-oriented Fitz & Jen blog.

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