Maxim Crane Works has had its credit rating downgraded after failing to make certain interest payments in February.

Maxim is one of the biggest US crane rental companies. Five years ago Bain Capital took a majority share from the Anthony family, refinanced the company and changed its name from Anthony Crane Rental to Maxim. Since that time it has struggled to make onerous interest payments. Its debt has risen as the health of the US crane rental market has fallen.

Maxim remains legally registered as Anthony Crane Rental LP, part of Anthony Crane Rental Holdings LP. The company is based in Pittsburgh but operates all over the USA.

On 31 March credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services downgraded Anthony Crane Rental LP’s $155m 10.375% senior notes from C to D for failure to make the cash interest payments that were due on these notes in February 2003. Standard & Poor’s also lowered its corporate credit rating on Anthony Crane to SD from CC. A rating of CC is defined as “currently highly vulnerable”. SD means On 14 March Standard & Poor’s lowered its corporate credit and senior unsecured bank loan ratings on parent company Anthony Crane Rental Holdings LP following the filing of an exchange offer that Standard & Poor’s viewed as coercive. The exchange offer is expected to close on 11 April 2003. Standard & Poor’s said that it would then lower the rating on the discount debentures to ‘D’ and withdraw all ratings on the company. Failure to complete the transaction could result in a bankruptcy filing.