Korea Ratings, a leading credit rating agency in South Korea, downgraded the credit outlook for CJ CGV from "stable" to "negative" Wednesday, citing a growing financial burden from its planned takeover of a Turkish cinema chain.
CJ CGV, South Korea's top operator of multi-screen theaters, announced earlier that its consortium would buy Istanbul-based Mars Entertainment Group for 792 billion won ($682 million).
CJ CGV plans to pay 300 billion won to secure a 38.1 percent stake.
Korea Ratings noted the company is in continued need of excessive funds and therefore it is facing a heavier financial burden.
"Due to the decision to buy the stake in Mars, CJ CGV is expected to come under bigger debt," Eom Jong-won, a researcher at the credit agency, said. "The possibility for an improved balance sheet is limited."