Metropolitan Opera’s credit rating downgraded by Moody’s

Posted on: December 23, 2014

In Tuesday’s (12/23) New York Times, Michael Cooper writes, “The Metropolitan Opera’s decision to once again use its monumental Chagall murals as collateral for loans was one of the factors Moody’s Investors Service cited on Monday when it  downgraded the company’s credit rating, noting the company’s ‘weakened financial profile.’ The ratings downgrade was the latest evidence of the financial trials of the Met, the nation’s largest performing arts organization: The company, which won concessions from its unions last summer after a bitter labor battle, ran an estimated $22 million deficit last year … and has faced box office struggles in recent years. Moody’s cited the Met’s deficit, its relatively low level of cash on hand, and its recent high rates of spending from its endowment as some of the reasons for downgrading the company’s credit rating, on $100 million worth of bonds that the company sold in 2013, to Baa1 from A3.… Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said in an interview that the Met was putting in place a plan to balance its budget and increase its endowment. ‘The long-term prospects for the Met, I believe, are good—because of the dramatic reduction in costs that have been achieved,’ he said.”

Posted December 23, 2014