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13 Aug 2010
Approximately USD1.625 billion of Long-Term Debt Affected
London, 13 August 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded to Caa1 from B3 the
corporate family rating and to Caa2 from Caa1 the probability of default
rating of Turbo Beta Plc, the indirect parent company of KCA Deutag
Drilling Group Limited ("KCA Deutag"). At the same time,
Moody's downgraded to B3 from B2 the rating on the USD1.625
billion Senior Facilities of Turbo Alpha Ltd, the holding company
of KCA Deutag. LGD assessment remains unchanged at LGD2 (24%).
In addition, Moody's has withdrawn the (P)Caa2 rating on the
proposed USD500 million notes of Turbo Beta Plc. The ratings have
been placed on review for further possible downgrade.
The rating withdrawal follows the announcement by Turbo Beta Plc earlier
this week that its proposed high-yield offering was put on hold
due to adverse market conditions. Whilst Moody's understands
that Turbo Beta Plc expects to obtain a three-month waiver of the
June 2010 financial covenant test breach under its senior facility agreement,
the rating downgrades reflect the increased likelihood that the capital
structure of the group may have to be restructured given (i) the required
covenant reset at both senior and mezzanine facility levels as financial
covenant tests continue to tighten; and (ii) the group's high
leverage, which Moody's estimates will be in excess of 6x
in 2010 in the absence of any equity injection from the sponsor.
Moody's notes that a capital restructuring involving a debt buyback
below par may be assessed as a distressed exchange (and hence a default)
under the agency's rating methodology.
The review for possible downgrade reflects the possibility that ratings
could see further downward pressure in the coming months if negotiations
with senior and mezzanine lenders regarding a covenant restructuring are
unsuccessful or if those result in a distressed exchange. The review
will focus on the potential support that could be offered by shareholders
and the outcome of the negotiations. Moody's expects to conclude
the review within the next three months. There could be upward
pressure on ratings provided that the group's capital structure
is stabilized through shareholder support that would improve significantly
its financial position, thereby also allowing it to maintain adequate
and sustainable headroom under its covenants.
Moody's last rating action on Abbot was on 28 July 2010, when
the rating agency assigned a provisional (P)Caa2 rating to the proposed
USD500 million senior notes of Turbo Beta Plc.
The principal methodology used in rating Turbo Beta Plc was the Global
Oilfield Services Rating Methodology, published in December 2009,
and available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies
sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other
methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process
of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory
on Moody's website.
Registered in England/Wales, UK, Turbo Beta Plc is a holding
company for KCA Deutag, a provider of onshore and offshore drilling
services to both IOCs and NOCs in the Eastern Hemisphere. Its ultimate
owner is a consortium led by First Reserve Corporation, a US private
equity firm specialised in the energy industry. In 2009,
Turbo Beta Plc reported consolidated revenues of around USD1.6
David G. Staples
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
Moody's downgrades KCA Deutag (formerly known as Abbot) and places ratings on review for further downgrade
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