TEXT-S&P rates Crown Castle's notes 'B-'
Oct 3 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned its 'B-' issue-level and '6' recovery ratings to Crown Castle International Corp.'s $1.65 billion proposed senior unsecured notes issue. The company intends to use the proceeds to partially fund the recently announced acquisition of rights to about 7,200 T-Mobile USA wireless towers. At the same time, we revised the recovery rating on subsidiary Crown Castle Operating Co.'s credit facilities to '3' from '4'. The '6' recovery rating reflects our expectations for negligible (0%-10%) recovery of principal in the event of payment default and the '3' recovery rating reflects expectations for meaningful (50%-70%) recovery. The issue-level rating on the credit facilities remains 'B+'. All other ratings on the company and its related entities remain unchanged. The revision to the recovery rating on the credit facilities reflects our assumption under our default scenario that there will be a larger pool of unencumbered assets due to the additional of the T-Mobile towers. In our recovery analysis, we assume that a limited number of the T-Mobile towers remain unencumbered, with the rest used as collateral for future debt issuances. On Oct. 2, 2012, were revised our rating outlook on Crown Castle to stable from positive as a result of our expectation of high leverage associated with the T-Mobile tower transaction. We also affirmed our 'B+' corporate credit rating and all issue-level ratings on the company. (For more information and the complete corporate credit rating rationale, see the research update on Crown Castle, published Oct. 2, 2012, on RatingsDirect.) RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH -- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012 -- U.S. Telecom And Cable Companies' Maturities Are Manageable, But Lower-Rated Issuers Face Some Liquidity Challenges, July 23, 2012 -- U.S. Telecom And Cable Companies, Strongest To Weakest, July 13, 2012 -- U.S. Telecom And Cable Ratings Should Be Stable Overall During Weak Economic Recovery, July 13, 2012 -- A Matter of Policy: U.S. Telecom Companies Maintain High Dividend Payouts, But For How Long?, May 30, 2012 -- A Matter of Policy: U.S. Cable And Satellite-TV Companies Ratchet Up Shareholder Payouts, May 16, 2012 -- Top 10 Investor Questions: U.S. Telecom and Cable Industries, May 10, 2012 -- Assessing The Four-Notch Rating Gap Between The Two U.S. Direct-To-Home Satellite Video Operators, May 9, 2012 -- Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 RATINGS LIST Crown Castle International Corp. Corporate Credit Rating B+/Positive/-- New Ratings Crown Castle International Corp. Senior Unsecured $1.65 bil. proposed nts B- Recovery Rating 6 Issue Rating Unchanged; Recovery Rating Revised To From Crown Castle Operating Co. Credit facilities B+ B+ Recovery Rating 3 4 Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column.
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