(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Oct 4 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said it assigned its debt issue and recovery ratings to Montreal-based diversified communications and media company Quebecor Media Inc.'s (QMI) proposed $1.35 billion aggregate amount of senior unsecured notes due 2023. These obligations comprise a US$850 million tranche and a C$500 million tranche. We rate the notes 'B+' (two notches below the corporate credit rating on QMI), with a recovery rating of '6', indicating lenders can expect negligible (0%-10%) recovery in the event of default.
The notes and the guarantees are senior unsecured obligations of QMI, ranking equally with all existing and future unsecured unsubordinated debt of the company.
Net proceeds from the proposed $1.35 billion notes offering will be used to fund a C$1 billion share buyback from Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (AAA/Stable/A-1+), and for partial redemption of the 2016 notes.
"The ratings on QMI reflect the credit risk profile of the company and its consolidated subsidiaries, including 100%-owned Videotron Ltee, the largest cable operator in Quebec and third-largest in Canada; and 100%-owned Sun Media Corp., the largest newspaper publisher in Canada," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Madhav Hari.
The ratings on Videotron are equalized with those on parent QMI as per Standard & Poor's corporate ratings criteria.
(For more information on QMI, see the research report published Oct. 4, 2012, on RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal. For the recovery analysis, see the recovery report to be published on RatingsDirect following this media release.)
RATINGS LIST Quebecor Media Inc. Corporate credit rating BB/Stable/-- Rating Assigned US$850 mil. senior unsecured notes B+ Recovery rating 6
C$500 ml. senior unsecured notes B+
Recovery rating 6
(Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)