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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades STATS ChipPAC to B2; outlook negative

05 May 2016

Hong Kong, May 05, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded STATS ChipPAC Ltd.'s corporate family rating and senior secured bond ratings to B2 from B1 and its unsecured bond rating to B3 from B2.

The rating outlook is negative.

Rating Actions:

..Issuer: STATS ChipPAC Ltd.

.... Corporate Family Rating, downgraded to B2 from B1

.... Senior unsecured $74.5mm GTD GLOBAL BONDS due 2018, downgraded to B3 from B2

.... Senior secured $425mm GTD GLOBAL BONDS due 2020, downgraded to B2 from B1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: STATS ChipPAC Ltd.

.... Outlook, maintained Negative

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade primarily reflects the company's continued weak operating performance, as evidenced in its results for both 4Q 2015 and 1Q 2016, as announced on 29 April 2016.

Furthermore, looking ahead, Moody's expects the sluggish state of demand in the high-end smartphone market which uses wafer-level packaging and advance packaging, two of STATS ChipPAC's key areas of focus, will mute revenues and limit any meaningful improvement in profitability over the next 12 months.

Accordingly, a near-term reversal of the trend evident in 4Q 2015 and 1Q 2016 is unlikely.

"We have downgraded the corporate family rating to B2 to reflect the company's continued weak operating performance. We further expect STATS ChipPAC's liquidity position to tighten considerably over the next 6 months, given its lower profitability levels, high fixed-cost structure, and significant capex program," says Annalisa Di Chiara, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer and lead analyst for the company.

Moody's notes that STATS ChipPAC reported revenues of $244 million in 1Q 2016, a 28% contraction from 4Q 2015 -- itself a weak quarter -- and reflecting the lower demand for packaging and testing services by the communications sector, as well as inventory corrections by some customers.

It also reported a $27 million operating loss, and which we expect to continue over the next two to three quarters.

In addition, we estimate adjusted debt/EBITDA for the 12 months ended 31 March to be in the 4.4x-4.7x range.

"At the same time, we expect adjusted debt/EBITDA will climb into the 5.0-5.5x range by December 2016, as profitability remains muted and adjusted debt levels, including the perpetual security of $205 million, remain at approximately $1.2 billion," adds Di Chiara.

Moody's also notes that the company has no additional availability under existing working capital facilities and is therefore reliant on cash flow generation which is currently weak, and support from its parent company (JCET), to support its operations.

We also expect the muted state of profitability and significant cash costs -- including around $55-60 million in interest expenses and $260 million in capex -- to drive substantial negative free cash flow and erode cash balances rapidly over the rest of 2016. STATS ChipPAC held $96 million of cash on its balance sheet at 31 March 2016.

On the supportive side, STATS ChipPAC completed its debt refinancing exercise on 15 April, following the repayment of its bridge facility with the proceeds from a new $315 million syndicated term loan and revolving credit facility due 24 August 2020.

The move away from short-term debt is positive for the rating as it extends the company's debt maturity profile considerably. Currently, it has $30 million under a revolving credit facility due over the next 12 months and around $50 million payable in 2017.

While we expect liquidity to deteriorate over the next two quarters, STATS ChipPAC's parent - Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Tech Co., Ltd (JCET, unrated) - and SilTech Shanghai (unrated, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Semiconductor Manufacturing Int'l Corp. (SMIC, Baa3, stable)), entered into a subscription agreement on 28 April whereby it will acquire 150,681,044 of JCET's shares for RMB2,655 million ($400 million) payable in cash.

Based on the Independant Financial Advisor Report filed by JCET with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, RMB 1,328 million (or approximately $200 million) of the proceeds are earmarked to fund a substantial portion of STATS ChipPAC's projected capex for the expansion of its eWLB capacity in Singapore.

Although this capital infusion will be positive for the company's near-term liquidity profile, we believe that its over-leveraged balance sheet and high capex requirements will continue to weigh on cash flows and liquidity in 2017.

The subscription agreement is contingent upon (1) the approval of JCET shareholders who meet at an extraordinary general meeting on 20 May 2016, and (2) the approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

The outlook is negative and reflects STATS ChipPAC's weak operating performance and rising liquidity pressures.

Further downward rating pressure could arise if the company continues to experience reduced asset utilization rates, as well as both decreasing profitability and cash flow-generating capability, such that adjusted debt/EBITDA rises above 5.5x, or cash levels fall below $75 million.

Moreover, if the company does not receive the $200 million capital injection from its parent -- to help fund its capex program, the ratings will be downgraded.

Upwards rating pressure is unlikely over the near term, given the downgrade and negative outlook.

However, the outlook could return to stable if the $200 million capital injection from JCET materializes and the company reverts to generating positive operating profits and free cash flow on a sustained basis.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Semiconductor Industry Methodology published in December 2015. Please see the Ratings Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

STATS ChipPAC Ltd. is a leading service provider of semiconductor packaging design, assembly, test and distribution solutions in diverse end market applications including communications, digital consumer and computing. With global headquarters in Singapore, STATS ChipPAC has design, research and development, manufacturing or customer support offices throughout Asia, the United States and Europe. STATS ChipPAC is a business unit of Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Tech Co., Ltd. (JCET, unrated), a publicly-traded company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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 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.

The first name below is the lead rating analyst for this Credit Rating and the last name below is the person primarily responsible for approving this Credit Rating.

Annalisa Di Chiara
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Laura Acres
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Moody's downgrades STATS ChipPAC to B2; outlook negative
No Related Data.
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