S&P Global Ratings downgraded Gewobag Wohnungsbau-AG Berlin's long-term issuer credit rating to A from A+, with a negative outlook, following the company's acquisition of more than 6,000 flats in Berlin.
The rating agency meanwhile affirmed the A-1 short-term issuer credit rating on the German social housing company and removed the ratings from CreditWatch.
The downgrade reflects Ratings' view that Gewobag's financial profile weakened, with the debt-to-EBITDA ratio above 20x, after the transaction.
Despite this, the rating agency sees a moderately high likelihood that Gewobag would receive support from the city-state of Berlin, its owner. The agency also views Gewobag's asset base as very good and its operational performance as strong, on the back of relatively low and stable vacancy rates and good rent collection performance.
The negative outlook was attributed to Berlin's draft law to limit rent increases, which the rating agency believes could hamper medium-term revenue growth and eventually pressure Gewobag's EBITDA margins.
This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.