CHICAGO - Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago won an upgrade from Standard & Poor's.
The rating agency raised its underlying rating March 25 to A-plus from A. In 2014, it upgraded the credit to A from A-minus.
The hospital, formerly known as Children's Memorial Hospital before it was rebuilt at a downtown Chicago location, carries Assured Guaranty Ltd. Insurance on its debt from a 2008 issue.
The system has $373 million of debt outstanding.
The upgrade stems from the rating agency's not-for-profit acute care, stand alone criteria published last December "as well as on our view of system's continued improvement in balance sheet metrics, lower debt levels, incremental improvement in unrestricted reserves, and ongoing solid cash flow that is contributing to robust debt service coverage," said Standard & Poor's analyst Suzie Desai.
The hospital benefits from its business position as the only freestanding pediatric acute-care facility in the state, strong partnership, and increasing market share as well as a very conservative debt structure profile.
In addition to its publicly offered debt, the hospital borrowed $65 million through a direct bank purchase to reimburse itself for the ongoing costs of its $915 million replacement facility in 2011.
The new hospital opened in 2012. It borrowed $380 million through the Illinois Finance Authority in 2008 primarily to finance the project. The hospital previously operated on a campus north of downtown. It is the only freestanding pediatric hospital in Illinois. The hospital has a AA-minus from Fitch Ratings.