Fitch Downgrades West Penn Bonds to "CCC"

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Fitch Ratings has downgraded the $737 million in outstanding debt of West Penn Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh to "CCC" from "B+" in light of the health system's failed merger talks with health insurer Highmark.

In June, Fitch affirmed West Penn's "B+" rating, saying the health system was making continued progress with its finances. However, that same report said if West Penn's merger deal with Highmark was not finalized, a "multi-notch negative rating action is likely to occur."


West Penn officials said Fitch's downgrade "was not unexpected given the weight of the previous rating being based upon an execution of a Highmark affiliation," according to a news release.

Fitch analysts said West Penn's credit situation will remain "volatile" for the near term and is dependent on litigation with Highmark over whether the health system can pursue other partners.

More Articles on West Penn Allegheny Health System:

Highmark Offered West Penn $125M to File for Bankruptcy

Highmark CEO: West Penn Bankruptcy Was Strategy to Boost Odds of Regulatory Approval

West Penn Willing to Resume Talks with Highmark

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