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01 Jul 2005
MOODY'S ASSIGNS TO SYDNEY AIRPORT FINANCE CO'S CAPITAL INDEXED BONDS PROSPECTIVE Aaa CREDIT-WRAPPED RATING AND PROSPECTIVE Baa2 UNDERLYING RATING
Approximately A$200 million in Debt Securities Affected
Sydney, July 01, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a prospective Aaa rating to the
capital indexed bonds (CIB) to be issued by Sydney Airport Finance Company
Pty. Ltd. (SAFC). The Aaa rating is based on the
financial guarantee to be provided in favour of the CIB holders by MBIA
Insurance Corporation, rated Aaa for its financial claims paying
ability. In addition, Moody's has assigned a prospective
Baa2 underlying rating to the same CIB. The Baa2 underlying rating
is based on the credit quality of Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd.
(SACL), which guarantees SAFC's debt obligations. The outlook
on all ratings is stable.
The prospective Aaa credit-wrapped and Baa2 underlying ratings
are based on the information provided to Moody's as of 15 June 2005 and
assume that this information will not change materially. Moody's
will assign definitive ratings once the above-mentioned debt is
The new debt issuance will be used to refinance approximately A$200
million in bank debt issued in September 2004. Accordingly,
the total debt amount of SAFC and other SACL group companies will not
change materially. The new issue will have the same terms and conditions
as the CIB issued in September 2004. Moody's says the total debt
load is manageable within SACL's current credit profile, given the
company's low level of business risk and predictable cash flow.
SCAC, SACL and Southern Cross Airports Corporation (Holdings) Ltd.
(SCACH) are all part of a security structure which guarantees the debt
issued by SAFC and SCAC. In this regard, the senior secured
position of the holders of debt in SAFC is the same as that of SCAC's
The Baa2 underlying rating recognises the dominant position of Sydney
(Kingsford-Smith) Airport in New South Wales. It is also
seen as the gateway airport to Australia and is the country's busiest
passenger airport. The airport has strong origin and destination
traffic, which supports its predictable cash flow. Moreover,
it benefits from a diversified earnings stream, with revenue generated
from aeronautical charges, as well as retail, property and
Passenger numbers for the first 10 months of FY2005 have exceeded the
previous year. Domestic volumes are 6.2% higher and
international volumes 4.7% higher. Moody's
expects total passengers for 2005 to exceed 28 million. Earnings
have increased over the previous year with the 9-month EBITDA of
A$375.3 million, an increase of 15.2%
over the first 9 months of FY2004. Moody's believes that
SACL is on track for a similar increase for all of FY2005, due principally
to higher traffic and better performing property revenue.
At the same time, the Baa2 rating considers the SCACH group's relatively
high level of leverage, which limits financial flexibility.
The rating is further tempered by the complex nature of the company's
corporate and capital structure.
The Baa3 rating for the units in Southern Cross Fliers Trust continues
to reflect the structural and contractual subordination of FLIERS to the
senior secured debt of SCAC and SAFC. Furthermore, Moody's
considers SCACH's Redeemable Preference Shares (RPS), for ratings
purposes, as predominately equity-like in nature, given
their position in the security structure, the distribution restrictions
for these instruments, their loss-absorption capacity,
and stapling to common equity.
SCAC, based in Sydney, Australia, owns 100% of
the equity in Sydney Airport Corporation Limited, which operates
Sydney Airport under a 50-year lease from July 1998 with an option
for an additional 49 years. Sydney Airport is the largest airport
in Australia, handling in excess of 27 million passengers annually.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Pty Ltd
612 9270 8100
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Pty Ltd
612 9270 8100
No Related Data.
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