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Global Credit Research - 08 Jun 2010
Approximately USD2.4 billion in debt securities affected
Hong Kong, June 08, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed the A3 issuer rating of Swire
Pacific Ltd ("Swire") and the senior unsecured bond ratings
of its financing subsidiaries, Swire Finance Ltd and Swire Pacific
MTN Financing Ltd. The rating outlook remains stable.
At the same time, Moody's has affirmed the Baa1 subordinated
debt ratings of Swire Pacific Capital Ltd and Swire Pacific Offshore Financing
This affirmation follows the announcement that Swire will acquire a 15%
stake in Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co Ltd ("HAECO") from
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd ("Cathay") and will offer to acquire
the rest of HAECO's shares for cash. Both HAECO and Cathay
are associated companies of Swire.
The acquisition of the 15% stake from Cathay for HKD2.6bn
-- to be completed on 14 June -- is well covered by
Swire's existing financial resources.
Upon completion, Swire will hold 60.96% stake in HAECO
and will consolidate HAECO into its accounts. HAECO, on a
reported basis, was in a net cash position as of December 2009.
This consolidation alone will improve Swire's credit metrics slightly.
The general offer will then allow Swire to acquire up to 100% of
HAECO at an incremental cost of HKD6.8bn. The final shareholding,
hence the consideration which is likely to be funded by debt, will
depend on the acceptance rate by the remaining shareholders.
"Moody's believes that this transaction will only have a moderate
impact on Swire's consolidated financial profile, even if
it acquires up to 100% stake of HAECO with debt. It will
lower Swire's already modest FFO/debt to 15-20%,"
says Elizabeth Allen, a Moody's VP/Senior Credit Officer.
"While its credit metrics will be on the weak side for the A3 rating,
they are expected to improve in 2011 when earnings from Swire's
existing Chinese projects increase and capex slows. However,
this assumes an absence of material new investments," adds
Allen, also Moody's Lead Analyst for the company.
Swire's A3 rating incorporates Moody's expectation that Cathay
will be funded on a stand-alone basis without any direct financial
support from Swire. Moody's views this planned transaction
as a form of indirect support and draws comfort from the relatively small
However, further evidence of funding support being provided to Cathay
would cause Moody's to reconsider its rating approach to Swire,
including the partial consolidation of Cathay's financials.
This may pressure Swire's rating given Cathay's weaker credit
Moody's last rating action with regard to Swire was taken on 3 May 2010
when it affirmed its A3 rating.
The principal methodology used in rating Swire was Moody's 'Analytical
Considerations in Assessing Conglomerates', published in September
2007 and available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies
sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other
methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process
of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory
on Moody's website.
Swire Pacific Ltd, listed in Hong Kong, is engaged in property
investment and development, aviation, beverages, marine
services, and trading and industrial businesses. It is controlled
by a UK-based private company, John Swire & Sons Ltd,
which held 38.99% of its issued capital and 56.84%
of its voting rights as of December 31 2009.
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Asia Pacific Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758-1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Asia Pacific Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758-1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077
Moody's affirms Swire Pacific's ratings on planned HAECO takeover
No Related Data.
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