Tenet wants to buy back $1B in senior notes

Tenet Healthcare Corp. seems to think it has a chance of selling $1 billion worth of bonds, despite the still-reeling bond market. The company has made an offer to repurchase up to $1 billion in existing notes, contingent on its ability to sell new bonds that equal the amount it's buying.

This is one of a few moves Tenet has made to reduce its massive debt exposure. Earlier this year, it closed a deal that got rid of $1.4 billion in bonds due in 2011 and 2012, with about $700 million in bonds due in 2015 and 2018. Execs said they made the move to ensure the company could remain liquid, even if the bond markets stayed troubled.

In other news, Moody's Investors Service has assigned a B1 rating to Tenet's proposed offering of $450 million in senior secured notes, and affirmed its B3 Corporate Family and Probability of Default ratings, along with the Ba3 rating on its revolving debt. The ratings for its existing senior secured and unsecured notes have been placed under review for possible downgrade. If the $1 billion offer goes through, Moody's expects to downgrade ratings on Tenet's senior secured notes.

To learn more about Tenet's financial position:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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