S&P affirms 'A-' rating on Southern New Hampshire Health System

S&P Global Ratings affirmed its "A-" rating on Nashua-based Southern New Hampshire Health System's outstanding debt.

In addition, the rating was revised to developing from stable as a result of the risks associated with the health system's merger with Manchester, N.H.-based Elliot Health System.

"The developing outlook reflects both negative and positive considerations for the rating through the two-year outlook period," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Kelsey Thomas. "The negative consideration is associated with the potential risk of a formal combination with [EHS], and our view of [EHS's] lower credit quality. The positive consideration for SNHHS' bond ratings is tied to the underlying credit quality of SNHHS itself, and our view that we could raise the ratings if it continues to produce strong operating and cash flow margins."

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