NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service on Monday warned that directory publisher Idearc Inc (IDAR.PK) may be likely to pursue a prepackaged bankruptcy or distressed debt exchange as they struggle to overcome high debt loads.
The downgrade of Idearc also reflects an expectation that the company will need to put into effect a comprehensive restructuring.
Additionally, the downgrade "reflects our view that Idearc may experience declines in its advertising sales at a far greater pace than we had previously contemplated, reducing its free cash flow and increasing the likelihood that the company will fail to comply with its financial covenants over the near term," Moody's said.
Idearc had $8.93 billion in long-term debt as of September 30, a regulatory filing shows. Credit default swaps insuring R.H. Donnelly and Idearc's debt against default are trading at extremely distressed levels, reflecting a view that a bankruptcy is highly likely.
Idearc's credit default swaps are also trading at 92.5 percent upfront, or $9.25 million to insure $10 million in debt, Markit data shows. (Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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