The rating on $135 million worth of convertible subordinated debentures for Bergen Brunswig Corp.'s electronics operations has been lowered to BBB- from BBB by Standard & Poor's, the nation's largest rating service. The debentures still are considered by Standard & Poor's to be of investment grade. A BBB- is the lowest that bond debt is ranked by the credit rating agency before it is considered speculative.
The downgrading does not affect the rating of Bergen Brunswig's planned offering of $40 million of exchangeable 25-year subordinated debentures for its medical operations. That offering will retain the BBB rating, Standard & Poor's said.
Bergen Brunswig, headquartered in Garden Grove, is the second-largest wholesaler of drugs in the United States. The company also distributes medical and surgical equipment and consumer electronics.
Standard & Poor's said it lowered the debt rating because the risks inherent in the company's consumer electronics operations are greater than for the rest of the company as a result of the climate in the electronics market.