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S&P affirms Spirit Realty in wake of REIT spinoff plan

S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ratings on Spirit Realty Capital Inc. and its operating partnership, following the company's announcement that it plans to spin off its Shopko-leased properties and other assets into a real estate investment trust.

The affirmed ratings are Spirit's BBB- corporate credit rating and the BBB- issue-level rating on its senior unsecured notes.

S&P said it considers the planned spinoff "slightly favorable," as it is likely to improve the company's tenant mix and credit protection measures but not adequately to warrant a positive rating action at this time.

The outlook is stable, reflecting S&P's expectations for Spirit to successfully execute the spinoff, to modestly improve its debt leverage post-spinoff and to carry out more asset sales than acquisitions in the near term. The rating agency added that pro forma for the spinoff transaction, the company is likely to see its fixed charge coverage climb to the high-2x area and its debt-to-EBITDA ratio fall to the low-6x area.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.