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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Vianorte´s senior unsecured and senior secured ratings at Ba3/A1.br. Outlook changed to stable from negative.

 The document has been translated in other languages

24 Feb 2017

Sao Paulo, February 24, 2017 -- Moody's America Latina (Moody's) affirmed Vianorte S.A.´s ("Vianorte" or "the company") senior unsecured and senior secured ratings at Ba3/A1.br. At the same time, Moody´s assigned a Ba3/A1.br corporate family rating (CFR) to Vianorte and withdrew its Ba3/A1.br issuer rating. The outlook changed to stable from negative.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Ba3/A1.br rating of Vianorte reflects the mature nature of the concession, as evidenced by its historically solid and stable tolling performance that supports strong credit metrics for the rating category. The concession is located in a well-developed region although its toll road system serves a smaller area in the interior of the State of Sao Paulo (Ba2, negative) when compared to closely located toll roads.

Vianorte´s concession contract expires in the beginning of 2018. During the remaining months we expect the company to post relatively stable cash flows with relatively low CAPEX requirements due to its maturity. Notwithstanding the strong fundamentals of the concession, the ratings are somewhat constrained by: (i) the traffic profile more concentrated on heavy vehicles, which tend to be more volatile and highly correlated with GDP performance; (ii) short remaining life of concession; (iii) track record of high dividend distributions and outstanding intercompany loans to be received from Arteris.

The stable outlook reflects our view that the economy´s gradual return to growth in 2017 will exert upward pressure on Vianorte´s traffic volume in the next 12 to 18 months, after two years of decline. Moody's also expects the dividend and intercompany loan flows will be prudently managed so that Vianorte´s credit quality and liquidity remain adequate for the rating category.

Our analysis does not consider a renewal or extension of the concession or any reimbursements from the Government of the State of Sao Paulo for the non-depreciated assets, as embedded in the concession contract.

What Could Change the Rating -- Up/ Down

In light of the proximity to the concession maturity, an upgrade of the rating is unlikely in the near to medium term.

A rapid or significant downturn in the company´s credit metrics could prompt a rating downgrade as well as the degradation of the liquidity and overall credit quality of Arteris. A deterioration in the supportiveness of the concession and regulatory framework could also prompt a downward action. We also assume that neither Arteris nor any of its subsidiaries will incur new debt containing cross default provisions that could affect Vianorte´s ratings.

Vianorte is an operating subsidiary of Arteris, a holding company with approximately 3,250 kilometers of operating toll roads under concession in Brazil, consisting of four concessions in the State of Sao Paulo and five federal concessions in the States of Sao Paulo (Ba2, negative), Minas Gerais (B1, negative), Rio de Janeiro (not rated), Parana (Ba3, negative) and Santa Catarina (not rated). The combined tolled traffic was 487 million equivalent vehicles (VEQ) in the first nine months of 2016, presenting a 4.5% decrease on a consolidated basis mainly driven by the federal concessions performance which fell 4.9% while state concessions fell -3.5%. In the last twelve months ending September 2016, Vianorte's revenues and EBITDA represented 13% and 18% of Arteris consolidated results, respectively, as Vianorte reported net sales of BRL 295 million and EBITDA of BRL226 million as per Moody's standard adjustments.

Vianorte is indirectly controlled by Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. (Abertis, not rated) and by Brookfield Brazil Motorways Holdings SRL, (Brookfield Brazil, not rated) through their respective ownerships of 51% and 49% in Participes en Brasil S.L. (Participes, not rated), which owns 85.1% of Arteris.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Privately Managed Toll Roads published in May 2014. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com.br for a copy of this methodology.

Moody's National Scale Credit Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale credit ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale credit ratings, please refer to Moody's Credit rating Methodology published in May 2016 entitled "Mapping National Scale Ratings from Global Scale Ratings". While NSRs have no inherent absolute meaning in terms of default risk or expected loss, a historical probability of default consistent with a given NSR can be inferred from the GSR to which it maps back at that particular point in time. For information on the historical default rates associated with different global scale rating categories over different investment horizons, please see https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1060333.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's information.

Information types used to prepare the rating are the following: financial data, economic and demographic data, debt documentations, historical performance data, public information, Moody's information, and regulatory fillings.

Sources of Public Information: Moody's considers public information from many third party sources as part of the rating process. These sources may include, but are not limited to, the list available in the link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_193459.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

The rating has been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com.br for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

Moody's America Latina Ltda. may have provided Other Permissible Service(s) to the rated entity or its related third parties within the 12 months preceding the credit rating action. Please go to the report "Ancillary or Other Permissible Services Provided to Entities Rated by Moody's America Latina Ltda." in the link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_194233 for detailed information.

Entities rated by Moody's America Latina Ltda. and the rated entities' related parties may also receive products/services provided by parties related to Moody's America Latina Ltda. engaging in credit ratings activities within the 12 months preceding the credit rating action. Please go to the link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_194232 for a list of entities receiving products/services from these related entities and the products/services received.

The date of the last Credit Rating Action was 9/5/2016

Moody's ratings are constantly monitored, unless designated as point-in-time ratings in the initial press release. All Moody's ratings are reviewed at least once during every 12-month period.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.br.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.br for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com.br for further information.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Ratings Definitions page on www.moodys.com.br for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com.br for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.br for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Aneliza Crnugelj
Analyst
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's America Latina Ltda.
Avenida Nacoes Unidas, 12.551
16th Floor, Room 1601
Sao Paulo, SP 04578-903
Brazil
JOURNALISTS: 800-891-2518
SUBSCRIBERS: 55-11-3043-7300

Michael J. Mulvaney
MD - Project Finance
Project Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's America Latina Ltda.
Avenida Nacoes Unidas, 12.551
16th Floor, Room 1601
Sao Paulo, SP 04578-903
Brazil
JOURNALISTS: 800-891-2518
SUBSCRIBERS: 55-11-3043-7300

No Related Data.
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