Wells Enterprises Slumps on Rising Credit Risk

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On December 21, 2020, Moody's Investors Service downgraded its corporate family rating on WEI Sales LLC to B1 from Ba3, its probability of default rating to B1-PD from Ba3-PD and its first lien term loan due 2025 rating to B2 from B1. WEI is owned by Wells Enterprises, Inc. The downgrade reflects increasing credit risk as the Company continues to invest in additional plant capacity build-out while also pursuing an aggressive shareholder policy, according to the ratings agency. The Company's financial leverage remains elevated at 3.5x debt to EBITDA as of September 30, 2020 following several debt-financed acquisitions over the past two years including Halo Top, Fieldbrook Foods Corporation and a Nevada-based manufacturing facility. Additionally, Moody's believes that the Company no longer has the ability to deleverage to below 3.0x debt to EBITDA by the end of 2021 as originally anticipated following these acquisitions.

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