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23 Nov 2010
Approx USD 100 million debt affected
Buenos Aires, November 23, 2010 -- Moody's Latin America has assigned a first-time B3 foreign currency
rating to Hillview's proposed USD 100 million senior unsecured notes
due in 2015. At the same time, Moody's assigned Hillview's
corporate family rating a B3 on its global scale. Net proceeds
will be used for liability management and corporate purposes. The
outlook is stable.
Hillview's B3 rating reflects its position as one of the largest
private gaming companies in terms of revenues operating in Argentina and
solid operating performance. Its gaming revenues continued to grow
despite the impact of the recession, which was driven by an increasing
inflationary framework that led to higher consumer expenditures.
Continued marketing and promotional activity and a favorable competitive
position in its primary market are also helping Hillview's performance.
The ratings also reflect Hillview's relatively low leverage and
solid credit metrics for its rating category.
Credit negatives that partly offset these strengths include Hillview's
small revenues and assets size, high property concentration risk,
with cash flow generation coming from a single market niche, and
its relatively short historical track as operations started only in 2007.
Going forward, Moody's will continue to closely monitor the likelihood
that negative pressure on future revenues and earnings will develop because
of potentially reduced gaming demand in the company's primary market.
Such a reduction is possible given the high level of unemployment in areas
around its operations, which could reduce gaming demand in the coming
The stable outlook indicates that Moody's expects Hillview to continue
to have success implementing its business model, thus allowing the
company to maintain strong credit metrics for its rating category.
The outlook also shows that Moody's expects the company to follow prudent
financial policies in terms of up-streaming any cash or dividend
payout to its parent company. Finally, the outlook is stable
because Moody's expects that Hillview will be able to maintain adequate
access to bank loans, even as market conditions remain challenging.
An upgrade of the ratings or outlook could result from Hillview increasing
its revenues and assets size and becoming more geographically diverse
as the business environment in Argentina improves. Quantitatively,
upward momentum could result if Hillview's total adjusted debt to
EBITDA is sustained below 1 times (2.0 times as of last fiscal
year ended December, 2009) and operating margins above 28%
(23.7% as of last fiscal year ended December, 2009).
Also important for upward rating pressure is for Argentina to have a more
predictable outlook for economic activity.
Negative pressure on the ratings or outlook could result from recovery
in the Argentinean economy having a less-than-expected positive
impact on gaming demand, affecting revenues and margins.
Quantitatively, a downgrade could result from a drop in Hillview's
EBIT margin to below 15.0% on a three-year average
basis or a significant increase in leverage, with adjusted total
debt to EBITDA of above 3.5 times. Indications of a weakening
market share in the domestic gaming market could also drive negative pressure.
Headquartered in Panama, Hillview Enterprises Inc. ("Hillview")
is a company which started operations on April 4th, 2007 and is
engaged in investment activities. VR Global Partners L.P.
("VR"), a limited partnership registered under the Exempted Limited
Partnership Law of the Cayman Islands, is its controlling company,
holding an ownership interest in Hillview of 60.2%.
Holding 0.4% of shares, Argentine Gaming Group (AGG)'s
manages all companies operating three gaming halls (bingos and electronic
gaming machines) in Argentina. With total revenues of USD 110 million
as of last twelve months ended of June 30, 2010, the main
gaming hall was founded in 1992 and is one of the largest gaming companies
operating in Argentina.
Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following:
parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings,
public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's
Investors Service information.
Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available
on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of assigning
a credit rating.
Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses
in assigning a credit 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.
Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com
for the last rating action and the rating history.
The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to
a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized
and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's
Investors Service 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
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Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies
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Asst Vice President - Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 4816-2332
Glenn B. Eckert
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
Moody's assigns a first time B3 rating to Hillview's proposed USD 100 million notes
Cerrito 1186, 11th fl
Buenos Aires C1010AAX
No Related Data.
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