S&P Lowers Buffets Rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it lowered its ratings, including the corporate credit rating, on Buffets Holdings Inc and its subsidiary Buffets Inc to 'D' from 'CCC' after the company failed to pay interest on 12.5 pct senior notes due in 2014. Buffets is owned by Caxton-Iseman Capital.

S&P said it does not expect it Buffets — US' largest operator of buffet-style restaurants — to make the payment given the company's weak liquidity and operating trends.

Buffets, which operates of Old Country Buffet and HomeTown Buffet restaurants, has seen operating cash flows fall sharply in the past year, dragged down by lower customer traffic and a rise in labour and commodity costs.