Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on New York Times Co. to ?A-? from ?A,? citing continuous challenges in the newspaper sales environment and additional spending related to New York-area printing facility consolidation plans.
The agency also lowered the company’s short-term corporate credit and commercial paper ratings to ?A-2? from ?A-1.
?New York Times’ financial profile is weak for the ratings, and improvement is not expected until the company finishes construction of its headquarters in the second quarter of 2007, and the plant consolidation project in the second quarter of 2008,? Standard & Poor’s said in a statement.
New York Times, which in addition to its flagship paper also operates the Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and 15 other daily newspapers, said Tuesday it plans to sublease its facility in Edison, N.J., and consolidate New York-area production at its newer plant in College Point, Queens.
The agency said it may lower New York Times’ ratings again in the future depending on what type of progress is made in reducing its debt to EBITDA measure, following completion of the headquarters and plant consolidation.