(The following was released by the rating agency)
April 19, 2012--Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services today said that it had assigned its ‘A-’ long-term ratings to Powercor Australia LLC’s (Powercor; A-/Stable/A-2) A$1 billion medium-term note (MTN) program and its proposed initial A$200 million bond issue. The senior unsecured notes are expected to be issued with a tenor of five years and will rank at least pari passu with all other unsecured and unsubordinated debt. The proceeds of the bond issue are to be used to primarily fund Powercor’s capital-expenditure program for the next 12 months.
The ‘A-/Stable/A-2’ corporate credit rating on Powercor, a regulated electricity distributor in the State of Victoria (AAA/Stable/A-1+), reflects our view of the company’s high level of cash-flow certainty and adequate liquidity. The rating also reflects the benefit of one-notch support from majority owner Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. (A-/Stable/--) and CKI’s affiliate Power Assets Holdings Ltd. (A+/Stable/--). We consider these strengths to be partly offset by our view of the company’s aggressive capital structure.