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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS CREDIT RATINGS OF DOMINION RESOURCES (SHORT-TERM AT P-2) AND VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY (SR. SEC. AT A2 ), BUT CHANGES RATING OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE

13 Nov 1996
MOODY'S CONFIRMS CREDIT RATINGS OF DOMINION RESOURCES (SHORT-TERM AT P-2) AND VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY (SR. SEC. AT A2 ), BUT CHANGES RATING OUTLOOK TO NEGATIVE New York, 11/13/1996 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the credit ratings of Dominion Resources and its main operating subsidiary, Virginia Electric and Power Company, but changed the rating outlook of both companies to negative. The change in outlook is in response to Dominion Resources' proposed takeover of East Midlands Electricity plc, an electric distribution company organized under the laws of England and Wales.
Ratings confirmed are:
Dominion Resources -- short-term rating for commercial paper at P-2.
Virginia Electric and Power -- senior secured debt at A2, senior unsecured debt at A3, counterparty rating at A3, and short-term rating for commercial paper at P-1.
Dominion Resources' proposed takeover of East Midlands Electricity will not trigger a review by Moody's of Dominion's or Virginia Electric and Power's credit ratings. However, the rating agency believes that Dominion's guarantee of a $2.2 billion UK bridge loan that will be used to finance the acquisition justifies a negative outlook for Dominion's US ratings until the bridge loan is replaced with non-recourse debt and equity. An inability to arrange non-recourse financing in the aggressive timetable contemplated would likely result in Moody's watchlisting all ratings for potential downgrade.
Dominion Resources has created a new subsidiary in the UK, DR Investments, to house the acquisition of East Midlands. The acquisition will be funded with bridge bank financing supported by an unconditional guarantee from Dominion Resources, but issued in the UK. Two facilities comprise the bridge financing : a 364 day facility for approximately 60% of the acquisition price and a 5-year facility for the balance. Management expects to replace the 364 day facility before year-end with non-recourse financing arranged in the UK, and to replace the 5 year facility over time with proceeds from stock offerings in the US by Dominion Resources. The company anticipates that the first in a series of equity offerings will be completed in July of 1997.
Because non-recourse financing may be available around the time of completion of the acquisition, and Dominion Resources intends to issue equity to finance the balance of the transaction, Moody's believes that negative pressure on Dominion's and Virginia Power's ratings will be temporary. Subsequent to completion and/or review of non-recourse financing and of planned equity offerings, a return to a stable outlook is possible, but far from certain.
East Midlands Electricity plc is headquartered in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Its senior unsecured Aa3 rating and P-2 commercial paper ratings have been watchlisted for potential downgrade. Moody's will review the ultimate financing structure and its impact on East Midlands to determine whether negative ratings pressure on Dominion Resources and Virginia Power results.
Dominion Resources and Virginia Power are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
No Related Data.
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