NEW YORK — The bonds of jeans maker Levi Strauss & Co. plummeted more than 20 points into distressed territory Thursday following a downgrade of the San Francisco company’s debt into highly speculative territory.
Levi Strauss, a privately held company in San Francisco that makes Levi’s jeans and Dockers pants, suffered a two-notch cut to its senior unsecured debt late Wednesday by Moody’s Investors Service, to Caa1 from B2.
The company’s 11.625 percent notes of 2008 opened on a price basis Thursday down more than 20 points, trading as low as 67 cents on the dollar, from a close of around 91 cents. They have since recovered a bit to trade at 72 cents.
Moody’s cited concern about the effect of the weak economy and global competition on the company’s cash generation, as well as “significant upcoming cash outlays” from plant closures and systems improvements related to the ongoing turnaround effort.