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Moody's places Hospitality Properties Trust ratings under review for downgrade

Moody's placed its ratings on Hospitality Properties Trust under review for downgrade and revised the outlook to rating under review from stable.

The action, which follows a recent agreement by the hotel and travel center real estate investment trust to acquire a net-lease portfolio from retail-focused Spirit MTA REIT for $2.4 billion in cash, pertains to the company's Baa2 senior unsecured rating, (P)Baa2 senior unsecured shelf rating and its (P)Baa3 preferred shelf noncumulative, preferred shelf, junior subordinate shelf and senior subordinate shelf ratings.

The rating agency said the action takes into account Hospitality Properties' weakened credit metrics because of the debt-funded acquisition and the strategic shift in the company's business model to a net-lease lodging and service retail REIT.

Moody's said the rating review will focus on, among other things, the REIT's operating strategy of the combined entity and will evaluate the company's plan to log profitable growth in a highly competitive net-lease service retail segment.

Moody's expects to lower the REIT's ratings by one notch should the deal close and be structured as contemplated.