Following this story and my own, a couple of master agents called me to get an opinion on the viability of Level3 and if I thought that they would file BK. My response was that I didn't think it was likely and that L3 has been leaning on the Channel to bring in more revenue every year. But I pinged some people I know and this showed up in my inbox: A press release from Standard & Poor's.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Service said today it lowered its issue rating on Broomfield Colo.-based Level 3 Communications Inc.'s 6% convertible subordinated notes due 2009 to 'D' from 'C'. At the same time, we removed the ratings from CreditWatch with negative implications, where they were placed on Nov. 18, 2008, following the announcement of below-par tender offers for three convertible debt issues maturing in 2009 and 2010. This rating action follows the Dec. 30, 2008, completion of the tender offer for the 2009 notes which Standard & Poor's viewed as distressed, and, as such, tantamount to default. .... The corporate credit rating on Level 3 Communications Inc. which was lowered on Dec. 29, 2008, following the completion of tender offers for two note issues maturing in 2010, remains at 'SD' (selective default). The issue ratings on all other debt issued by Level 3 Communications and its wholly owned subsidiary, Level 3 Financing Inc., remain on CreditWatch with negative implications, pending our assessment of pro forma recovery prospects for each issue. ... "Now that all tender offers are complete, we expect to raise Level 3's corporate credit rating to 'B-' with a stable outlook and resolve the CreditWatch for all issue ratings in the very near term," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Susan Madison.
From the full release, see Paragraph 5:
"We expect to raise Level 3's corporate credit rating to 'B-' with a stable outlook once all the tender transactions have been completed. At that point we would also raise issue-level ratings on debt that remains outstanding for the three tendered issues based on their respective recovery prospects."
Now get out there and sell something! Happy New Year!