September 24, 2012 / 2:50 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT-S&P assigns Wolverine World Wide preliminary 'B+' rating

Sept 24 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it assigned its
'B+' preliminary unsecured debt rating to Rockford, Mich.-based Wolverine World
Wide Inc.'s proposed $375 million senior unsecured notes due 2020. At
the same time, we are assigning our preliminary '5' recovery rating, reflecting
our expectations of modest (10%-30%) recovery for the lenders in case of a
payment default.

We expect the company to use net proceeds from this debt issuance to partially 
finance the pending roughly $1.23 billion acquisition of the Performance and 
Lifestyle Group (PLG) business of Collective Brands Inc. We expect the 
transaction to be completed in October 2012; however, if the acquisition is 
not consummated as expected, the company will redeem the notes raised under 
this offering.

Our preliminary ratings on Wolverine, including the preliminary 'BB-' 
corporate credit rating, reflect our view that the company's financial profile 
will be "aggressive" following completion of the PLG acquisition, when the 
company will have a high level of debt, with pro forma debt-to-EBITDA leverage 
in excess of 4.5x. In addition, we believe the company's financial policy is 
moderate, given the pending debt-financed transaction; the company has 
operated with very modest debt levels in recent years. 

Our ratings further reflect our view of Wolverine's "fair" business risk, 
underpinned by the group's strong niche positions in the U.S. footwear market, 
and the strength and growth potential of most of its brands. The business risk 
assessment is constrained by our view of the fragmented and competitive market 
in which Wolverine operates, as well as by its limited geographic 
diversification and narrow product offering.

     -- Methodology And Assumptions: Liquidity Descriptors For Global 
Corporate Issuers, Sept. 28, 2011 
     -- Business Risk/Financial Risk Matrix Expanded, Sept. 18, 2012
     -- 2008 Corporate Criteria: Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008

Wolverine World Wide Inc.
 Corporate credit rating          BB- (prelim)/Stable/--

Ratings Assigned
Wolverine World Wide Inc.
 Senior unsecured
  $375 million notes due 2020     B+ (prelim)
    Recovery rating               5 (prelim)

Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on 
the Global Credit Portal at All ratings affected 
by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at Use the Ratings search box located in the left 
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below