B&D bonds downgraded

December 15, 1990

Standard & Poor's Corp. lowered its rating of Black & Decker Corp. bonds yesterday, saying that the finances of the Towson-based power tool maker were being hurt by its inability to sell off recently acquired divisions.

S&P, which judges the riskiness of bonds for investors, praised Black & Decker's "experienced management, strong marketing orientation, and leading brand name," and said the company should be able to pay its debts next year, but added that the debt was downgraded because of what it called the company's "very high debt level."

Black & Decker borrowed $3.6 billion to buy Emhart Corp. last year and has been unable to sell off several of the divisions it had planned to unload to raise cash.

Black & Decker spokeswoman Barbara Lucas said yesterday that S&P's downgrading of her company's rating from BB+ to BB only matched the ratings already affirmed by other bond-rating companies.

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