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S&P downgrades Community Health Systems after debt exchange offer

S&P Global Ratings lowered its corporate credit rating of Community Health Systems Inc. to CCC- from CCC+ following the company's plan to exchange $3.13 billion worth of previously issued debt with new notes.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based hospital operator's rating was also placed on CreditWatch with negative implications by the rating agency.

The rating agency said it considers the 2022 notes as distressed because participating noteholders will receive significantly less than par value as part of the tender. For the 2019 and 2020 notes, the agency does not view these exchanges as distressed because noteholders will receive par value and will also receive both higher interest rates and junior priority security in exchange for extending maturities.

S&P lowered the rating on the company's unsecured notes due 2022 to C from CCC- and placed the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications.

The CreditWatch negative status reflects the possible distressed exchange of the unsecured notes due in 2022. If the company exchanges a material amount of the 2022 notes for the proposed 2024 notes, the agency will lower the corporate credit rating to CC.

Once the transaction has closed, the agency will lower the corporate credit rating to SD and the rating on the 2022 senior unsecured notes to D.

S&P will re-evaluate the corporate credit rating on the company and issue-level ratings following the close of the tender.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here.