S&P cuts some ratings on Alabama county's debt

Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:07pm EST

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Wednesday reduced to "D" from "B" its credit ratings on some Jefferson County debt, saying the Alabama local government's landmark bankruptcy settlement had lowered payments on some warrants issued by the county.

S&P said the county, whose Dec. 3 emergence from Chapter 9 bankruptcy mostly involved sewer-system debt, also materially changed an indenture underlying the county's non-sewer 2004A, 2005A-1, 2005A-2, 2005A-3, 2005A-4 and 2005B warrants.

"The modifications made to the indenture create materially different obligations," the agency said in a news release.

Analysts for S&P were not immediately available to further comment.

Home to Birmingham, Jefferson County's $4.2 billion bankruptcy filing in 2011 was the largest ever by a U.S. local government until Detroit's case in July. The county's settlement concluded two weeks ago handed big losses to owners of its $3.2 billion of sewer debt.

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