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Fitch places Dun & Bradstreet on Rating Watch Negative after sale announcement

Fitch Ratings placed Dun & Bradstreet Corp. on Rating Watch Negative after the data-and-analytics company struck a deal to be bought by a group of investors.

The deal could increase leverage at the company to 7.3x from 2.6x on a pro forma basis for the last 12 months ending June 30, Fitch said. Such an increase could warrant a multiple-notch downgrade, the rating agency added.

Fitch also noted that Dun & Bradstreet faces structural challenges and increased competition that could lead to a decline in organic top-line revenue and margin compression, though the rating agency added that these factors could be partially offset by improvements under new ownership.

Fitch has a long-term issuer default rating of BBB- and a short-term issuer default rating of F3 on the company.