Sinclair gets an upgrade from Moody


As Sinclair Broadcast Group priced a private placement of a quarter billion dollars in new notes, the TV company got good news from Moody’s Investors Service – a ratings upgrade.

The move by Moody’s is a follow-through on an upgrade it announced in early August. At the time the ratings agency said Sinclair’s ratings were under review for further upgrades if it was able to address its debt securities maturing in 2012. It did just that with the tenders to be funded by the new notes.

“Moody’s Investors Service raised its ratings for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (“Sinclair” or the company) and subsidiary Sinclair Television Group, Inc. (STG), including the Corporate Family Rating (CFR) and  Probability-of-Default Rating (PDR), each to Ba3 from B1, and the ratings
for individual debt instruments as outlined below, concluding its review for possible upgrade as initiated on August 5, 2010. Moody’s also assigned a B2 (LGD 5, 87%) rating to the proposed $250 million issuance of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2018 by STG. The Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating remains unchanged at SGL-2. The rating outlook is now stable,” Moody’s announced.

Sinclair has approximately $1.3 billion of debt rated by Moody’s.

Here are the ratings actions by Moody’s:

..Issuer: Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.

….Corporate Family Rating, Upgraded to Ba3 from B1

….Probability of Default Rating, Upgraded to Ba3 from B1

.Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, Unchanged at SGL-2

….4.875% Senior Subordinated Notes, Upgraded to B2, LGD6, 95% from B3, LGD6, 94%

..Issuer: Sinclair Television Group, Inc.

….Senior Secured Revolver (Maturing June 2011), Upgraded to Baa3, LGD1, 9% from Ba1, LGD2, 10%

….Senior Secured Revolver (Maturing December 2013), Upgraded to Baa3, LGD1, 9% from Ba1, LGD2, 10%

….Senior Secured Term Loan B (Maturing October 2015), Upgraded to Baa3, LGD1, 9% from Ba1, LGD2, 10%

….Senior Secured Second Lien Notes, Upgraded to Ba3, LGD3, 47% from B1, LGD3, 48%

….New Senior Unsecured Notes (Maturing 2018), Assigned B2, LGD5, 87%

….8% Senior Subordinated Notes (Maturing March 2012), Upgraded to B2, LGD5, 87% (to be Withdrawn following successful completion of the in-market New Senior Unsecured Notes and ensuing pay-down)