WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The companies have portrayed their proposed union as a way to fuse AT&T’s base of wireless and pay-TV subscribers with Time Warner's array of programming.
S&P “placed its ratings on Dallas-based telecommunications provider AT&T Inc., including its 'BBB+' corporate credit rating and 'BBB+' senior unsecured debt rating, on CreditWatch with negative implications,” the release on Monday stated.
The differing outlooks reflect S&P’s analysis of how each company would be affected financially by the $84.5 billion merger, announced Friday, which is subject to review by US regulators.
Even if the deal results in a downgrade of AT&T’s corporate debt, the release stressed, it will be limited to only one “notch," to "BBB," and would remain investment-grade. In contrast, S&P said it believes the deal could provide strategic benefits to Time Warner, a cable TV powerhouse that owns CNN and HBO, among other networks.