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Reader’s Digest, Source Interlink Among Companies with ‘High Risk of Defaulting on Debt’

Publishers make Moody’s ‘Bottom Rung’ list.


Jason Fell By Jason Fell
03/10/2009 -16:08 PM






For the financially morbid types (and the rest of us) who’ve been tracking U.S. companies on the brink of bankruptcy, credit rating agency Moody’s has created a list to satiate our appetites. The “Bottom Rung” lists roughly 300 companies the agency says are at the highest risk for defaulting on their debt.

And, unsurprisingly, magazine publishers are no exception. Making the list is the Reader’s Digest Association, with $2.21 billion in outstanding debt. The publisher recently retained law firm Kirkland & Ellis and financial adviser Miller Buckfire to help “explore strategic initiatives.”

Also on there is embattled publisher/wholesaler Source Interlink, with $1.63 billion in outstanding debt. (It can’t help that the company’s stock is trading at less than 11 cents per share.)

Click here to see a list of the top 30 companies based on rated debt.

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