S&P Affirms Its Hawker Beechcraft Credit Downgrade
In a statement released last week, Standard & Poor’s rating services said its ratings and outlook on Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft (HB) are not affected by the aircraft manufacturer’s retention of Perella Weinberg Partners to help assess its revolving credit agreement, the terms of which were last amended more than two years ago. The HB decision followed an announcement by Standard & Poor’s on December 1 that it would cut its credit rating of HB to CCC, saying the manufacturer may be facing a distressed debt restructuring. In September, Moody’s Investment Service downgraded HB’s credit rating to Caa3. The decision, according to Moody’s analyst Edwin Wiest, reflected the company’s “mounting retained deficit and our view that the soft economy dims chances for profitability anytime soon.” The downgrades focused a spotlight on Hawker Beechcraft’s $2.14 billion of outstanding debt (as of Sept. 30, 2011), leading observers to question whether a debt restructuring is in the offing.