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Rating Action:

Moody's changes outlook on Capital Hospitals Ltd´s Baa2 rating to positive from stable

30 Jan 2014

Madrid, January 30, 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed to positive from stable the outlook on the Baa2 underlying rating of (1) the GBP1.02 billion 1.703% index-linked guaranteed secured bonds due 2046 issued by Capital Hospitals (Issuer) plc (the "Issuer"), and (2) the GBP250 million index-linked guaranteed secured loans due 2041 provided to the Issuer by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The Issuer is a financing conduit formed in 2006 to raise finance and on-lend funds to Capital Hospitals Ltd ("ProjectCo"). In accordance with a 42-year contract signed with Barts Health NHS Trust (the "Trust"), ProjectCo has assumed obligations to design, build and provide facility management (FM) services to the new acute general hospitals on two sites, comprising The Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew ("Barts") and The Royal London Hospital (the "Royal London"), together with supporting infrastructure and amenities, and to undertake some refurbishment of existing buildings (referred to collectively as, "the Project").

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The positive rating outlook reflects the significant progress and de-risking of the construction works, which are now approximately 91% complete by contract value and include the successful delivery of Phase 1. The outlook also reflects the progress on Phase 2 of Barts and the Royal London which are on target to be completed in March and September 2014, respectively," says Declan O'Brien, an Analyst in Moody's Infrastructure Finance Group.

Moody's considers that the delivery of Phase 2 will further de-risk the Project. Upon completion of Phase 2, the unitary charge will step up to 89% of the amount payable following full construction completion. Phase 3 works, which are on track to be completed by January 2016, are straightforward and comprise demolition works, and the construction of a boiler room and car parking facilities.

The Baa2 underlying rating of the bonds and the EIB loans positively reflects (1) ProjectCo's long-term Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with the Trust to redevelop and provide FM services to the Royal London and Barts hospitals; (2) the credit quality of the Trust; (3) the successful certification of approximately 91% of construction works, including the satisfactory delivery of Phase 1; (4) the strong construction support package provided by Skanska Major Projects and, in turn, supported by a performance bond of 10% (while Moody's does not rate Skanska AB, the rating agency considers the company's credit quality to be robust); and (5) the satisfactory performance of hard and soft FM since 2006. However, the rating is constrained by the remaining construction works, amounting to approximately GBP100 million, which will be completed over a two-year period ending February 2016.

The bonds and the EIB loans are each split into two equal size tranches which benefit from unconditional and irrevocable guarantees of scheduled principal and interest from (1) Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. and (2) Ambac Assurance UK Limited (a subsidiary of Ambac Financial Group, Inc., "Ambac"), respectively. The underlying rating of Baa2 reflects the credit risk of the bonds and EIB loans, absent the benefit of the respective guarantees. The assigned ratings are determined as the higher of the underlying rating and the guarantor's rating. As at 28 January 2014, Assured Guaranty's insurance financial strength rating was A2 stable and accordingly the ratings for the Assured Guaranty-wrapped debt obligations are A2. As Ambac's insurance financial strength and senior debt ratings were withdrawn on 7 April 2011, the ratings for the Ambac-wrapped debt obligations are Baa2, in line with the underlying rating.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Moody's could consider upgrading the ratings if ProjectCo (1) successfully reaches the completion of Phase 2 at both hospitals on time and on budget; and (2) continues to deliver satisfactory service performance as evidenced by the low level of service deficiency points and financial deductions under the terms of the PFI contract.

Conversely, Moody's could consider downgrading the ratings (1) if there was a material decline in Skanska AB's credit quality or its commitment to the Project; or (2) if the Project suffered a material delay, cost overrun, revenue shortfall or performance failure that could not easily be accommodated within the available contractual protections.

The methodologies used in this rating were Construction Risk in Privately-Financed Public Infrastructure (PFI/PPP/P3) Projects published in December 2007, and Operating Risk in Privately-Financed Public Infrastructure (PFI/PPP/P3) Projects published in December 2007. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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 rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular 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.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this 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.

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 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 for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Declan O'Brien
Analyst
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Neil Griffiths-Lambeth
Senior Vice President
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's changes outlook on Capital Hospitals Ltd´s Baa2 rating to positive from stable
No Related Data.
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