NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings expects to assign the following rating to Hildene CLO II, Ltd./LLC (Hildene CLO II):
--$252,000,000 class A notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.
Hildene CLO II Ltd. (the issuer) and Hildene CLO II LLC (the co-issuer) together comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Hildene Leveraged Credit, LLC. Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately $400 million of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period and a two-year noncall period.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 37.0% for the class A notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in an 'AAAsf' stress scenario. The degree of CE available to the class A notes is in line with the average CE of recent CLO issuances.
'B/B-' Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is 'B/B-', which is comparable to recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the 'B' rating category denote a highly speculative credit quality; however, in Fitch's opinion, class A notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. Class A notes are projected to be able to withstand default rates of up to 60.3%.
Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 95.5% first lien senior secured loans, 89.1% of which have strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of 'RR2' or higher. This is in line with the seniority profile of recent vintage CLOs.
Consistent Portfolio Parameters: The concentration limitations and collateral quality test levels are within the range of limits set in the majority of recent CLOs. Fitch addressed the impact of the most prominent risk-presenting concentration allowances in the Fitch stressed portfolio analysis.
In addition to Fitch's stated criteria, the agency analyzed the structure's sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions including decreases in weighted average spread or recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between 'A-sf' and 'AAAsf' for the class A notes.
The expected ratings are based on information provided to Fitch as of May 2, 2014. Sources of information used to assess these ratings were provided by the arranger, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, and the public domain. Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the accompanying presale report.
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Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Applicable Criteria & Related Research:
--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria' (May 24, 2013);
--'Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs' (Aug. 8, 2013);
--'Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions' (Jan. 23, 2014);
--'Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds' (May 13, 2013).
Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Hildene CLO II Ltd./LLC (US Structured Credit)
Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria
Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs
Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds
Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds