F&D Reports/Creditntell Publish Update on U.S. Retailers’ Bank Debt & Liquidity

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Annual bank debt and liquidity report provides the financial and liquidity situation of top U.S. retailers and wholesalers.

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Staying on top of upcoming maturities can prove crucial in assessing retailers’ financial health as well as anticipating defaults.

Industry-leading credit consulting firm Information Clearinghouse Inc. (ICI), through its divisions F&D Reports and Creditntell, are pleased to announce the release of its Bank Debt & Liquidity Update, an annual report for financial executives looking to keep an eye on the access to cash available relative to the retailers and wholesalers with which they partner.

During the first half of fiscal 2011, banks purportedly continued to ease lending standards. Historically low interest rates are driving lending activity, as corporations issue new debt to refinance higher-yielding debt and, to a lesser extent, return capital to shareholders. Compared to historical levels, nonetheless, access to credit remains tight, and most corporations are still not borrowing to fund new investments or expansion. More than ever, retailers are moving to refinance their bank facilities, and these re-financings are serving as key indicators of their financial health.

To that end, the Bank Debt & Liquidity Update provides bank facility maturity schedules for ICI’s monitored companies, separated by industry segment, with a summary of the credit agreements as well as key debt protection and liquidity metrics and short-term debt maturities through 2012. For each company, the report provides the maturity date, maximum borrowings, percent available, cash availability, TTM interest coverage, securitization, accounts payable, percent inventory financed by vendors, A/P one-day average, DPO and other term loans or notes coming due in the next year. The report also lists upcoming public bond maturities and bank facility maturities for more than 60 privately held retail sector companies.

Staying on top of upcoming maturities can prove crucial in assessing retailers’ and wholesalers' financial health as well as anticipating defaults. The 2010 Bank Debt & Liquidity Update highlighted A&P’s looming $157.0 million convertible note maturity on June 15, 2011; A&P subsequently filed Chapter 11 in December 2010, citing this upcoming maturity as part of its rationale for filing. Roundy’s Supermarkets retired a $54.0 million term loan that matured on November 3, 2011 and will need to deal with the November 2012 maturity of its $95.0 million revolver. HCA continues to face a series of debt maturities over the next three calendar years, including $1.40 billion in notes and term loans coming due in 2012. Other major retailers announcing recent re-financings include: BI-LO, Burlington Coat Factory, Rite Aid, Target, Sears Holding Corp., Safeway, AutoZone, AmerisourceBergen, Bass Pro Shops, Big Lots, Cabela’s, Cardinal Health, Compass Group, Core-Mark, Family Dollar, Neiman Marcus, Toys “R” Us and Winn-Dixie.

Commenting on the Bank Debt & Liquidity Update, Lawrence Sarf, CEO of ICI, stated, “Cash is, as always, King, and access to favorable borrowing is the Crown Prince that serves him. Every business experiences opportunities and unexpected pitfalls; both of those situations require immediate access to capital in order to provide the smoothest path forward. Conversely, the inability to take full advantage of opportunities, retire expensive debt, forward-buy low priced goods, or ramp up capex in preparation for a turning economy is the recipe for failure. Knowing what your customer or competitor has in relation to what they are going to need gives you a clear advantage. Every financial executive with an interest in retail should have this comprehensive report nearby as a ready reference.”

Information Clearinghouse, Inc. (publisher of F&D Reports, Creditntell, & FDARMS) is a comprehensive retail credit consulting firm specializing in the analysis of public and private companies in numerous retail segments. The focus of its analysis is to deliver the key intelligence today's busy credit executive needs to make a highly informed decision without sifting through pages of non-essential data. F&D Reports and Creditntell actively monitor retailers such as Kroger, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys "R" Us, BJ's Wholesale, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bon-Ton Stores, and Macy's. To learn more, visit the websites at http://www.fdreports.com, http://www.creditntell.com, http://www.fdarms.com.

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Al Furst
F&D Reports
1-800-789-0123 147
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Dennis Cantalupo
Creditntell
1-800-789-0123 110
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