Moody's says Supervalu rating unaffected

Moody's says Supervalu's store closure plans won't affect rating or outlook

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service said Thursday that Supervalu Inc.'s plans to close 60 stores will not affect its credit rating or outlook.

The struggling grocery chain said late Wednesday that it will close the underperforming stores this year in an effort to improve its financial picture. The move is expected to generate savings between $80 million and $90 million over the next three years.

Supervalu, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., operates grocery stores across the country under banners such as Albertson's, Jewel-Osco and Cub Foods. It has been trying to turn around its business for some time after suffering due to intense competition and a failure to adapt to new consumer expectations.

Moody's said the actions will not affect Supervalu's non-investment grade, or "junk," B3 corporate family rating or its negative outlook.

The rating agency said that the closures are a step in the right direction but will have a minimal impact on the company's liquidity and credit metrics. Moody's also believes it will do little to reverse its decline in revenue and operating profit.

Moody's also noted that the company may continue to try to streamline its operations as it considers its strategic alternatives, which could including the sale of the whole or parts of the company.

Supervalu's shares gained 9 cents, or nearly 4 percent, to end Thursday trading at $2.37. However, its shares have plunged in value since October, when they hit a year-long high of $8.75.

View Comments (1)