The ratings on Health Care Property Investors, a real estate investment trust based in Newport Beach, Calif., have been downgraded by Fitch Ratings in the wake of the REIT's acquisition of CNL Retirement Properties Inc.The REIT's issuer default rating was lowered from BBB-plus to BBB, as were the ratings on its bank credit facility and senior unsecured notes, and its preferred stock was downgraded from BBB to BBB-minus. "While the CRP acquisition adds a large pool of high-quality senior housing and medical office assets to HCP's existing, diversified portfolio and increases the company's exposure to private-pay sources of revenue, Fitch is very concerned by the significant increase in leverage and related erosion in debt service coverage ratios resulting from the acquisition," Fitch said. The rating agency can be found on the Web at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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