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Global Credit Research - 25 Nov 2010
Madrid, November 25, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today confirmed the A2 senior unsecured
bank credit facility rating of Radio e Televisao de Portugal S.A.
(RTP). The outlook on the rating is stable. This rating
action concludes the review for possible downgrade, which Moody's
initiated on 5 May 2010.
"RTP's A2 rating remains one notch below that of its 100%
owner, the government of Portugal. Despite RTP's weak
standalone financial profile, the A2 rating reflects its close links
to the government and Moody's expectation that it would step in
with timely extraordinary financial support if required, despite
the lack of an explicit guarantee," says Iván Palacios,
a Moody's Vice President - Senior Analyst and lead analyst
The A2 rating is principally driven by Moody's expectation of very high
likelihood of support from Portugal, primarily reflecting:
(i) RTP's 100% ownership by the Portuguese Government;
(ii) the ten year financial restructuring agreement entered into in 2003,
which provides for the recapitalisation of RTP and debt reduction over
the agreement period, (iii) the applicability of articles 501 to
503 of the Portuguese Companies Code ("PCC") to RTP, which stipulate
that the state, in its capacity of dominating shareholder of RTP,
is commercially liable for RTP's obligations; and (iv) the
political embarrassment and reputational damage to the sovereign that
would result from allowing RTP to default.
The A2 rating also reflects a very high dependence between RTP and the
Portuguese government, due to RTP's longstanding position as the
primary public sector broadcaster in Portugal as formalised in the general
concession for the provision of public service television granted to RTP
for a 16-year term from September 2003, and revalidated in
2008. It also recognises that RTP obtains a significant amount
of its cash flow from the Portuguese government, either through
capital injections or operating subsidies, and that RTP's
revenues come almost exclusively from the Portuguese domestic market.
As part of the rating review process, Moody's has reassessed
RTP's standalone credit fundamentals, as indicated by its
baseline credit assessment (BCA) of 15, which is equivalent to a
B2 rating on Moody's global scale. The BCA of 15 reflects
RTP's weak financial profile, due to accumulated losses and
high indebtedness, which is partly mitigated by its position as
the public service broadcasting provider in Portugal and the predictability
of annual operating subsidies and capital injections from the government
designed to recapitalise the company over the period to 2013.
Moody's expects RTP's rating to remain close to and move in line with
that of the Portuguese government. RTP's stable outlook reflects
the stable outlook on Portugal's A1 government ratings.
A downgrade in Portugal's rating would result in a downgrade in
RTP's rating. In addition, a downgrade in RTP's rating
could also be triggered by a partial sale of the government's shareholding
in the company or an indication that the Portuguese government's willingness
to provide support to RTP on a timely basis, if required,
has become weaker than Moody's current assumption. Furthermore,
failure to successfully address during 2012 the refinancing of debt maturing
in 2013 could also exert downward pressure on the rating.
The principal methodologies used in this rating were Moody's "Government-Related
Issuers: Methodology Update", published in July 2010
and "Rating Methodology: Global Broadcast Industry",
published in June 2008.
The last rating action on RTP was implemented on 13 July 2010, when
Moody's downgraded RTP's rating to A2 from Aa3 and maintained the rating
on review for possible further downgrade, following Moody's earlier
rating action on Portugal's sovereign rating.
RTP is a corporation, duly incorporated under domestic law,
and therefore subject to standard Portuguese commercial law. RTP
is 100% owned by the Portuguese state through the General Directorate
of Treasury and Finance, and has operated Portugal's public service
broadcasting channels under a concession from the government since 1996.
In 2009, the group's principal channel, RTP1, was ranked
second by audience share with around 24.0%, behind
its free-to-air commercial rival TVI ( 28.7%)
and just before SIC (23.4%).
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Paloma San Valentin
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Moody's confirms RTP's A2 rating; stable outlook
Barbara de Braganza, 2
No Related Data.
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