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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Grupo Aldesa to Caa1; stable outlook

25 Sep 2019

Frankfurt am Main, September 25, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today downgraded to Caa1 from B3 the corporate family rating (CFR) and to Caa1-PD from B3-PD the probability of default rating (PDR) of Spanish construction company Grupo Aldesa S.A. ("Aldesa" or "group"). Concurrently, Moody's downgraded to Caa1 from B3 the instrument rating on the EUR250 million senior secured notes due April 2021, issued by Aldesa Financial Services S.A. The outlook on both entities remains stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade follows Aldesa's weak results for the second fiscal quarter ended 30 June 2019 (Q2-19), and the group's downward revised 2019 full year net sales and profit guidance. The Caa1 ratings also reflect Moody's view of Aldesa facing increased risk regarding the refinancing of its EUR250 million senior secured notes due April 2021, while it is currently in refinancing negotiations, including with some private lenders. While a regular refinancing could support positive pressure over the medium term, provided that operating performance and cash flow generation is improving, a potential refinancing of the bond below par, resulting in a loss for bondholders, would likely constitute a distressed exchange (DE) and qualify as a default under Moody's definition, driving further negative rating pressure

In Q2-19, Aldesa's net sales in the restricted group decreased by 24% year-over-year (yoy) to EUR182 million from EUR240 million in the prior year, while its restricted EBITDA declined to EUR6.9 million (-22% yoy). Main driver for this was an ongoing difficult environment in the Spanish and Mexican civil works sectors. Investment activity in these markets continued to be muted in light of the unstable political environment in Spain and constrained decision making in the Mexican public works sector, which has led to a delay in several projects. At the same time, higher activity in the Spanish residential sector, where margins are typically weaker, has prompted a material deterioration in profitability, as shown by a meager 1.3% (restricted) EBITDA margin in Spain during the first half of 2019 (H1-19), down from 3.4% last year. Considering the ongoing sluggish sentiment in Spain and Mexico, which the group expects to improve from 2020, it has revised downward its 2019 full year net sales guidance to around EUR900 million from over EUR1 billion, and its EBITDA guidance for the restricted group to EUR50-52 million from previously EUR58 million. Depending on the magnitude of expected working capital releases in the seasonally stronger second half of the year, the group also increased its restricted group net leverage guidance to 1.9x-2.4x from 1.7x-2.2x. This is after Aldesa's reported restricted free cash flow weakened to EUR130 million negative in H1-19, compared with EUR93 million during the same period of the prior year on account of higher working capital consumption due to certain milestone energy projects.

LIQUIDITY

Aldesa's liquidity remains adequate with EUR88 million of cash on the balance sheet as of 30 June 2019, although Moody's forecasts negative free cash flow generation in the restricted group over the next 12-18 months. There are no major debt maturities before January 2021 when the EUR100 million revolving credit facility (EUR65 million drawn at the end of June 2019) will mature, which the group has just been able to extend in September 2019. Liquidity is also supported by sufficient headroom under the group's financial leverage covenant (<3.75 restricted group net debt/EBITDA), which needs to be tested at each year-end.

Nevertheless, liquidity remains constrained by the risk of a potential non-extension of Aldesa's various reverse factoring (confirming) lines, provided and usually renewed by a pool of Spanish and Mexican banks, under which EUR127 million were utilized as of 30 June 2019. Moody's recognizes that the group was able to renew its main Spanish framework agreement recently. Any termination of such lines, however, which Moody's considers unlikely in the short-term, would cause immediate pressure on Aldesa's liquidity.

RATING OUTLOOK

The stable outlook reflects Aldesa's still sufficient liquidity, assuming continued access to confirming lines and only slightly negative free cash flow over the next 12-18 months. The outlook also recognizes Moody's expectation that Aldesa will be able to successfully refinance its outstanding bond over the next few quarters, without resulting in a significant loss for bondholders.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING DOWN / UP

Downward pressure on the ratings would build, if Aldesa's liquidity were to deteriorate beyond our expectations during 2020, driven either by a more sizeable cash burn or unexpected termination of its confirming lines. Also, any refinancing of the 2021 bond, resulting in a severe loss for bondholders could prompt a downgrade.

The ratings could be upgraded, if Aldesa was able to successfully refinance its 2021 bond, while maintaining an adequate liquidity profile with at least break-even free cash flow generation in the restricted group.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Construction Industry published in March 2017. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

COMPANY PROFILE

Grupo Aldesa S.A., headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a family-owned Spanish construction company, mostly focused on transport infrastructure, but also on construction of solar and wind energy plants. In the 12 months (LTM) through 30 June 2019, Aldesa generated sales of EUR876 million and reported consolidated EBITDA of EUR81 million. Consolidated EBITDA includes the group's non-recourse activities, which generated around 32% of EBITDA during this period. The group's customer base mainly consists of public entities with an increasing exposure to private sectors. As of LTM 30 June 2019, Aldesa generated 64% of its revenue outside of Spain, mainly in Mexico (49% of group revenue) and Poland (10%).

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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.

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.

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.

Goetz Grossmann, CFA
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Christian Hendker, CFA
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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