Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services today placed Gannett’s long and short term credit ratings on credit watch, with negative implications.
Gannett has continued to fund itself in the commercial paper market despite current market disruptions over the past few weeks. As a prudent liquidity measure in light of the ongoing credit market dislocations, Gannett partially drew down on its committed revolving credit facilities sufficient funds to cover all of its commercial paper obligations outstanding. This action was taken prior to -- and was completely unrelated to -- Standard & Poor’s actions today.
Irrespective of any actions Standard & Poor’s may take in the future, Gannett continues to generate substantial cash flow and also has significant untapped availability under its $3.9 billion of committed revolving credit facilities, far in excess of our total commercial paper obligations.
“Our underlying fundamentals remain strong and we continue to be a solid investment grade company,” said Craig A. Dubow, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 900 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes 17 daily paid-for titles, approximately 300 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, and a network of award-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.