Standard & Poor's placed its ratings for International Shipholding Corp. (ISH) on CreditWatch with negative implications. The CreditWatch placement reflects the company's announcement that it intends to dispose of a substantial amount of specialized shipping assets whose profitability is weak.
ISH will continue to operate these assets until a sale is completed.
Although proceeds are expected to be used to reduce debt and the disposal will eliminate a significant amount of related overhead expense, the uncertain timing of the sale and weaker recent results in the company's other business segments are likely to pressure the company's historically stable credit
Although ISH has recently improved its liquidity, ratings could be lowered modestly unless the pending restructuring creates a solid improvement in the financial profile.
ISH is a holding company, with subsidiaries providing specialized vessels for charter
by ocean shippers.
Fleet size is modest, but there is adequate diversification by market and ship type. - (Reuters)