(Bloomberg) -- SBB, the landlord at the center of Sweden’s property crisis, will deploy roughly half of a cash lifeline to repay upcoming debt maturities, according to comments by rating firm Standard & Poor’s.
On Sunday, Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden AB — as the company is formally known — said it had covered a near-term funding gap in a deal that will raise 8 billion Swedish kronor ($720 million) by ceding control in a portfolio of schools to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Ltd.
S&P said the landlord will use the proceeds from the cash injection to meet committed capital expenditure of about 1.9 billion kronor, dividends of about 2 billion kronor and the remaining 3.9 billion kronor will address debt maturities.
“This, combined with other sources of liquidity, should help SBB repay short-term debt maturities, including the large euro bond due on Feb. 8,” the rating firm said in its note.
Read More: Sweden’s Embattled SBB Plans Break Up to Ease Funding Crisis
Analysts at Danske Bank A/S said in a note that they view the statement from S&P as “slightly credit negative,” citing a risk that a significant portion of the proceeds don’t go toward debt repayment.
The transaction with Brookfield is expected to close within the next few weeks, once Nordic competition authorities have approved the deal.
S&P took no rating action on SBB, the debt of which it currently rates as “vulnerable to non-payment” at CCC+. The rating firm downgraded the landlord to junk in May amid a sharp selloff in its shares and bonds. The company has since suffered six further steps of cuts as it scrambled to close a near-term funding gap of 8 billion kronor.
“We will assess the full effect of the deconsolidation of the EduCo business and the decentralization of the other two businesses on SBB once we have more visibility on their impact on our ratios on a pro forma basis,” the rating agency said.
(Adds Danske Bank comment, bond prices.)
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