March 23, 1995 in Nation/World

Morrison Knudsen Debt Rating Downgraded

Associated Press

Morrison Knudsen Corp., reeling from a succession of bad news, got another jolt Wednesday when a leading debt-rating agency lowered its opinion of the famed construction company’s creditworthiness.

Standard & Poor’s Corp. said it was reducing its senior debt rating on the company, already in the speculative or “junk” grade status, to double B minus from double B plus. The highest rating is triple A.

“This action reflects further deterioration of MRN’s business position and financial profile,” Standard & Poor’s said in a statement.

The downgrade came with 10 days left before banks can foreclose on Morrison Knudsen debt, and one day after another key director bailed out, saying there’s nothing else he can do.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor in the Carter administration, quit the board Tuesday following the lead of former acting Chairman William Clark, who quit Monday.

The company needs to restructure $235 million in debt and secure $125 million in new credit from its lenders to avoid bankruptcy, analysts said.

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