Fitch Downgrades Mississippi Power to 'BBB+'; Southern's Outlook Revised to Negative

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has downgraded Mississippi Power Company's Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB+' from 'A-' and Short-term IDR to 'F2' from 'F1'. The Rating Outlook for Mississippi Power remains Negative. Mississippi Power is the wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (Southern). Fitch has affirmed the IDR for Southern at 'A' and revised its rating Outlook to Negative from Stable.

Fitch has affirmed the IDRs for Southern's other subsidiaries as follows: Alabama Power Company at 'A'; Georgia Power Company at 'A'; Gulf Power Company at 'A-'; Southern Power Company at 'BBB+', and Southern Electric Generating Company (SEGCO) at 'A'. The Rating Outlook for these entities is Stable. Fitch has also affirmed the 'F1' commercial paper rating for Southern Company Funding Corporation. A full list of rating actions follows at the end of this release.

One-notch Downgrade of Mississippi Power

The downgrade and continuation of the Negative Rating Outlook for Mississippi Power is driven by still elevated risks surrounding the Kemper Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project, which include the regulatory uncertainty around the recovery of costs and execution risk associated with the completion of the project within currently estimated cost and timeline.

Specifically, Fitch is concerned with the inability of Mississippi Power to reach a settlement with the Mississippi Public Utility Staff (MPUS) on Kemper cost recovery and the uncertainty induced by Mississippi Supreme Court's unfavourable decision that voids the current rate plan in effect. A further delay in schedule and cost escalation cannot be ruled out and Fitch is worried about any potential disallowance of Kemper construction costs in the prudency reviews to be conducted by the Mississippi Public Service commission (MPSC). The terms of all the three commissioners expire this year and the two commissioners who have supported Kemper do not plan to re-run, thus, exacerbating the regulatory overhang. As an added blow, South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA)'s recent decision to terminate the asset purchase agreement for a 15% ownership in Kemper saddles Mississippi Power with incremental capacity, a substantial portion of which may have to be sold as merchant.

The strong rating linkages with the parent company are limiting further negative rating actions for Mississippi Power at this time. Southern has demonstrated tangible financial support by absorbing a substantial portion of the Kemper cost overrun through equity infusion in Mississippi Power. With the downgrade in Mississippi Power's IDR today, Fitch has widened the difference with Southern's IDR to two notches based on the assumption that future tangible equity support will be measured and could be withheld in the absence of a constructive regulatory outcome of Mississippi Power's recent rate filings. Fitch does not anticipate widening the notching any further. Fitch will contemporaneously resolve the Negative Rating Outlook for Mississippi Power with the resolution of the Negative Outlook at the parent. Conversely, evidence of continuation of tangible capital support to Mississippi Power could result in the notching compressing back to '1'.

Rating Outlook Revision for Southern Company

The Outlook revision to Negative is driven by the simultaneous undertaking of two large and complex generation projects i.e. the Kemper IGCC project and Vogtle nuclear units 3 and 4, both of which have seen material construction delays and rising regulatory concerns, which have weakened the profile of Southern at its current rating level. Southern's current and forecasted credit metrics, while consistent with historical measures, do not adequately offset the enhanced business risk that is expected to linger until the two projects enter successful operations. Southern has issued $1.5 billion in equity over 2013 - 2014 to fund a substantial portion of Kemper cost overruns, which has been a key ratings driver supporting the company's 'A' IDR and Stable Outlook until now. However, Fitch believes that management's appetite for further equity issuance to support future cost overruns at Kemper or finance Southern Power's growth aspirations is limited at this point, which could result in higher than expected parent company debt issuance, thereby putting pressure on consolidated credit metrics.

Fitch will resolve the Negative Outlook over the next 12-24 months based on the successful completion and operations of Kemper, resolution of regulatory uncertainty in Mississippi and issuance of approximately $ 1 billion in securitization proceeds at Mississippi Power. At the same time, Fitch will continue to monitor the construction progress of the new Vogtle nuclear units based on the current costs and schedule and continuation of regulatory support for Georgia Power as demonstrated through future Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceedings and the next general rate case filing in mid-2016.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR SOUTHERN COMPANY

High Project Execution Risk: Fitch's rating concerns for Southern include significant construction and regulatory risks associated with the two large baseload projects under construction, namely the 2,200 MW Vogtle nuclear units 3 and 4 in which Georgia Power owns a 45.7% stake and the 580 MW Kemper IGCC plant being built by Mississippi Power. The Vogtle units are experiencing a significant delay in the construction schedule and the Georgia PSC has not been inclined to recertify the original costs or schedule until the first unit reaches substantial completion. The EPC contract is largely fixed and Georgia Power believes that the contractors are responsible for the incremental construction costs arising from the delay. However, the utility is exposed to owner's oversight and financing costs that will need to be recovered from ratepayers. Fitch expects that any adjustments to the overall project costs will be deemed recoverable by the Georgia PSC.

The Kemper project has faced significant overruns relative to its original project costs estimate. The project is now expected to cost $6.2 billion, of which $1.3 billion is subject to exemptions and exceptions from the regulatory cost cap. Of the remaining $4.9 billion, Mississippi Power does not intend to seek rate recovery for $2.1 billion of costs incurred above the $2.88 billion cost cap and has taken an equivalent charge to income through its 1Q'15 financial results. With the project close to 88% complete, future cost increases may not be material. But the project is entering a crucial phase of gasifier start up and integration with the combined cycle units. Issues with start-up activities could delay the operational date (currently estimated as first half of 2016) that exposes Mississippi to additional costs (approximately $15 million-$40 million per month) and greater regulatory risk.

Conservative Business Model: Southern's ratings recognize the relatively stable and predictable cash generation of its utility subsidiaries that have generally experienced a constructive regulatory framework in their service territories. Its non-regulated generation subsidiary, Southern Power, follows a conservative business model by selling power output through long-term sale contracts with creditworthy counterparties and taking on has minimal commodity exposure. At present, regulatory risk is subdued for Southern's utility subsidiaries, except Mississippi Power, given the 2013 rate resolutions at Georgia Power, Alabama Power and Gulf Power. The key regulatory issues to monitor are the outcome of Mississippi Power's recent rate filings and future prudency reviews on Kemper costs, the next base rate case proceeding at Georgia Power (to be filed mid-2016 for rates to be effective January 2017) and the semi-annual VCM filings for the new Vogtle nuclear units.

Positive Sales Trend: Southern's utilities have witnessed an improving trend in customer sales and electricity sales as their service territories continue to benefit from economic rebound, job growth and population in-migration. On a combined basis, customer count grew by 0.8% in 2014 and retail sales grew by 3.3%. Industrial sales exceeded expectations with a 3.3% GWH sales growth in 2014 reflecting a rebound across most of the major industrial segments. Industrial sales have shown positive year-over-year growth for eight consecutive quarters now. Residential sales are also trending above expectations, while commercial sales continue to be soft. Fitch's financial forecasts embed a 0.5% - 1.0% sales growth across most of Southern's utility subsidiaries.

High Environment Capex: Fitch expects Southern's consolidated environmental compliance expenditures to wind down after 2015, a majority of which is being spent to meet the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. The company is planning to spend approximately $2.1 billion over 2015 - 2017 on environmental capex. All of Southern's regulated subsidiaries, with the exception of Georgia Power, have environmental trackers. Georgia Power has typically recovered environmental compliance-related costs through base rate case decisions.

Stable Credit Metrics: Fitch expects Southern's FFO adjusted leverage to be approximately 4.1x by 2017 and FFO coverage ratios to remain above 4.8x. Adjusted debt to EBITDAR is expected to approach 3.6x by 2017. The financial forecasts do not assume any additional cost escalation at Kemper and incorporate only the announced projects at Southern Power. Higher than expected capex needs at the subsidiaries, if not partly financed by parent equity, could result in higher than forecasted holding company debt, thereby, putting pressure on consolidated credit metrics.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR ALABAMA POWER

Strong Regulatory Mechanisms: The ratings and Stable Outlook for Alabama Power reflect Fitch's view that the utility will continue to generate strong credit metrics over the next three years driven by a gradual improvement in industrial sales and potential rate increases under the Rate Stabilization & Equalization (RSE) mechanism and environmental cost recovery clauses. Fitch views Alabama regulation to be constructive. The RSE rates are established based on a weighted cost of equity (WCE) range of 5.75%-6.21% with an adjusting point of 5.98%.

High Reliance on Industrial Sales: Rating concerns for Alabama Power include a high reliance on the industrial sector, which makes up for approximately 40% of its total MWH sales. Fitch sees enough room in the credit metrics to absorb a prolonged period of economic slowdown in Alabama Power's service territory; this was demonstrated during the stressed economic conditions of the year 2009.

High Proportion of Coal in Fuel Mix: Alabama Power's large coal mix (approximately 55% of total generation) leaves the utility exposed to potential higher environmental expenditures. While Alabama Power has an environmental clause that allows for recovery of all prudent and mandated expenditures, the retail electricity rates would rise, reducing the flexibility for Alabama Power to increase the base rates to earn an attractive ROE.

Strong Credit Metrics: For the last 12 months (LTM) ending March 31, 2015, funds from operations (FFO) adjusted leverage was 3.5x. Fitch expects this metric to modestly increase to 3.5x - 3.75x range over 2015-17 as the benefits of bonus depreciation subside. LTM Debt to EBITDAR was 3.4x and Fitch expects this metric to moderate to 3.2x by 2017. FFO fixed charged cover is expected to average approximately 6.0x over the same period.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR GEORGIA POWER

High Project Execution Risk: The Vogtle 3 and 4 units are running behind the originally PSC approved schedule and have seen an escalation in capital costs. The PSC stipulation that requires Georgia Power not to request any further revision in the costs or the schedule of the Vogtle units till the first unit attains substantial completion induces regulatory uncertainty if costs escalate significantly. The EPC contract is largely fixed, however, Georgia Power will continue to incur approximately $10 million per month of owner's costs and $30 million per month of financing costs that would need to be recovered from ratepayers.

The construction delay is not causing any ratings pressure for Georgia Power at this time. A procedural and scheduling order issued by Georgia PSC in connection with the VCM 12 filings clarified that the currently approved certified costs for the Vogtle units should not be construed as a cost cap and Georgia Power will be allowed to recover prudently incurred costs both up to and above the certified cost. This is a key assumption that underpins Georgia Power's ratings as Fitch expects that any adjustments to the overall project costs will be deemed prudent and recoverable by the PSC. Georgia Power sees no change to its assessment of a 6%-8% impact on customer rates as a result of the construction delay and this should minimize the regulatory risk, in Fitch's opinion.

Constructive Regulation: Georgia Power's ratings are supported by the solid financial profile of the integrated utility which benefits from constructive regulation in Georgia that limits regulatory lag. Georgia Power's rate case outcome in December 2013 provides for a three-year rate certainty and reflects an authorized ROE of 10.95% that is above industry average. The ability to recover the CWIP financing costs on the new Vogtle units has alleviated pressure on credit metrics. Fitch expects Georgia Power to file a general rate case in 2016 for new rates to be effective January 2017.

High Environment Capex: Georgia Power's annual capex is forecast to be in the $2.0 billion-$2.4 billion range over 2015-2017 and is primarily driven by Georgia Power's share of Vogtle costs. Georgia Power environmental capex is winding down and the company anticipates spending approximately $750 million over 2015-2017 mostly for compliance with the MATS rule. While Georgia regulations do not allow for automatic recovery of environmental costs, Georgia Power has historically been granted adequate rate relief on its environmental capex.

Modest Weakening of Credit Metrics: Fitch anticipates a modest deterioration in Georgia Power's credit metrics until 2017 reflecting the pressure from a large construction program. Fitch forecasts Georgia Power's adjusted debt to EBITDAR and FFO adjusted leverage to be approximately 3.4x and 4.0x, respectively, in 2017. The financial forecasts assume a constructive outcome in Georgia Power's next rate case filing for new rates effective January 2017 that allows Georgia Power to earn an ROE close to the current authorized levels.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR GULF POWER

Constructive Regulation: The utility enjoys several rate riders that provide timely recovery of all prudent costs related to fuel, purchased power costs and environmental expenditures. While Gulf Power is dependent on coal fired generation capacity that must comply with stringent emissions standards, the fuel and environmental recovery clauses promote timely recovery of associated costs. The current rates are based on authorized ROE of 10.25%.

Improvement in Retail Sales: Gulf Power's service territory continues to see slow but steady improvement in the local economy with economic indicators such as housing starts, unemployment and income growth, all showing positive trends.

Stable Credit Metrics: Fitch forecasts Gulf Power's adjusted debt to EBITDAR and FFO adjusted leverage to be approximately 3.3x and 3.8x, respectively, in 2017, which is in line with its rating category.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR MISSISSIPPI POWER

High Project Execution Risk: The Kemper capex is approximately 88% complete with $5.5 billion of actual costs incurred through the end of April 2015. While further costs increases cannot be ruled out, management believes it has captured a significant proportion of material and labor related cost increases in its latest estimate. Significant risks that remain with Kemper are associated with the gasifier start-up (target is summer 2015) and integration with the combined cycle turbines (planned for fall 2015).

Termination of Asset Purchase Agreement by SMEPA: Fitch believes that finding another partner to replace SMEPA could be challenging for Mississippi Power given the low wholesale price environment and the construction issues/delays the project has faced. Mississippi Power could allocate approximately 30% of the capacity to the FERC-jurisdictional wholesale rate base, in line with its current generation portfolio split. However, allocating the balance to retail rate base would intensify the pressure on customer bills and require modification to the rate filings made recently, thus, exacerbating the ongoing regulatory uncertainty regarding recovery of Kemper costs.

Constructive Outcome to Rate Filings is Key: On May 15, 2015, Mississippi Power filed an application with the MPSC outlining three alternative rate proposals to raise rates to recover the costs associated with Kemper. Two of the three proposals that mirror traditional rate making lead to an incremental 22-24% jump in rates from the current levels. The third plan results in no change in rates to customers and includes securitization of $1 billion of project costs. The MPSC has 120 days to rule otherwise rates will increase for customers based on the traditional plan filed by Mississippi Power.

Stress on Credit Metrics: The credit metrics for Mississippi Power are currently stressed as the Mirror CWIP collections accrue as regulatory liabilities, which will be amortized per a fixed schedule once the Kemper project goes into service. Fitch's financial analysis indicates that if the project becomes operational within the currently projected capital costs and schedule, and based on the assumption that the Mississippi PSC approves the utility's 2019 Rate Mitigation Plan as proposed, Mississippi Power's FFO adjusted leverage could approach 3.7x, Adjusted debt/EBITDAR at 3.4x and FFO fixed charge cover at 3.8x by 2017.

KEY RATING DRIVERS FOR SOUTHERN POWER

Conservative Contracting Strategy: Fitch views positively Southern Power's contracting strategy. The company has contracted an average of 78% of its capacity for the next five years and 71% of its capacity over the next 10 years. The company is generally able to pass through fuel costs to its customers under power sales contracts, although it retains margin exposure to the operating efficiency of its plants.

Favorable Fuel Mix: Southern Power is well-positioned relative to other power generators in the face of more stringent environmental regulations that affect coal- and oil-fired generation. Its fleet of modern gas-fired power plants comprise 94% of the currently installed capacity of 9,121 MWs. Fitch expects Southern Power's gas generation fleet to benefit from potential retirement of old and inefficient coal capacity in its region.

Expansion into Solar PV: Southern Power has been expanding its solar portfolio, which Fitch views as neutral to its credit profile. Southern Power currently owns ownership interest in approximately 405 MW of installed solar PV projects and has approximately 360 MWs under construction. The entire output from these facilities has been contracted under long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) with the local regulated utilities. The company recently announced its first wind acquisition, the Kay Wind facility, a 299 MW wind project in Oklahoma that is expected to begin commercial operations in late 2015 and has a 20-year PPA for its output.

Exploring New Growth Opportunities: Southern Power continues to scout for new investment opportunities that include utility-scale solar, wind projects and natural gas-fired plants. Fitch expects Southern Power to finance new projects and/or acquisitions with 50%-55% debt structure.

Strong Credit Metrics: Fitch expects Southern Power's credit metrics to remain strong through 2015-2017. Fitch expects adjusted debt/EBITDAR and FFO adjusted leverage metrics to approximate 3.5x and 3.3x, respectively, in 2017, both strong relative to Southern Power's rating level. The 2017 forecasted FFO based metrics do not reflect any benefit from investment tax credits.

KEY RATINGS DRIVERS FOR SEGCO

Guarantee by Alabama Power: The ratings of SEGCO are supported by a joint ownership by Georgia Power and Alabama Power. SEGCO's debt is fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Alabama Power, which, in turn, has an indemnification from Georgia Power to cover 50% of SEGCO's debt repayment in case of a default by SEGCO.

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Fitch's key assumptions within the rating case are as follows:

Alabama Power

--Modest increases in RSE rates over 2015-17

--1.5% increase under CNP C (environmental) rates in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016

--0.5% increase in electricity sales in 2015 and 2016

Georgia Power

--1.5% increase in electricity sales

--Base rate increases of $136 million effective Jan 1, 2015.

--Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery (NCCR) tariff increases of 0.3% in 2015, and between 0.5% - 1% over 2016 - 2017

--Environmental Compliance Cost Recovery (ECCR) tariff increase of $22.7 million in 2015 and $120 million in 2016

--Vogtle 3 & 4 in-service in 2019 and 2020

Gulf Power

--Decline in sales by 1% in 2015, 0.5% growth in 2016 and 1.0% in 2017

--Rate increases per the last rate order

Mississippi Power

--ROE of 9.7% for 2015-17

--100% ownership of Kemper IGCC with 85% of the project recovered through regulated rates

--No change to current rate plan for Kemper cost recovery

--Securitization of $1 billion in January 2017

--Kemper IGCC commercial operations date (COD) by June 2016, no further losses in 2015 or beyond.

--Modest Performance Evaluation Plan (PEP) and Environmental Compliance Overview (ECO) rate increase over 2016 - 2017

1% electricity sales growth over 2015-17

Southern Power

--Growth projects as announced

--Balanced funding of growth capex

2015 - 2016 FFO ratios include ITCs for the solar projects during construction.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR SOUTHERN COMPANY

Positive: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a Stable Rating Outlook include:

--COD of Kemper without any material escalation in currently projected capital costs followed by successful operational performance;

--Constructive outcome in Mississippi Power's pending rate filing that mirrors the current rate plan;

--No material cost and/or schedule escalation for Vogtle units and any adjustments to the overall project costs deemed recoverable by the Georgia PSC;

--Continued regulatory support in Georgia regarding the VCM filings and next general rate case to be filed mid 2016;

--Sustained FFO adjusted leverage at or below 3.5x over the forecast period.

Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a negative rating action include:

--Significant time/cost overrun at Vogtle and/or Kemper projects that are primarily debt financed and negative regulatory actions on the recovery of those costs;

--FFO adjusted leverage weakens to 4.25x or higher on a sustained basis.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR ALABAMA POWER

Positive: Positive rating actions for Alabama Power are not anticipated at this time.

Negative: Sustained FFO adjusted leverage above 4.0x.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR GEORGIA POWER

Positive: Positive rating actions for Georgia Power are not anticipated at this time.

Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a negative rating action include:

--No further material cost and/or schedule escalation for

Vogtle units and any adjustments to the overall project costs deemed recoverable by the Georgia PSC;

--Continued regulatory support in Georgia regarding the VCM filings and next general rate case to be filed mid 2016;

--FFO adjusted leverage weakens to 4.25x or higher on a sustained basis.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR GULF POWER

Positive: Positive rating actions for Gulf Power are not anticipated at this time.

Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a negative rating action include:

--Unexpected negative regulatory developments in Florida;

--Extended weakness in Florida economy and lower than expected sales;

--Sustained FFO adjusted leverage weaker than 4.0x.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR MISSISSIPPI POWER

Positive: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a Stable Outlook include:

--A timely completion of the Kemper project based on current costs and schedule estimates and successful operations of the plant within the parameters established by the Mississippi PSC;

--A constructive resolution of the recent rate filings that mirrors the current seven-year rate plan;

--No significant disallowance of costs as part of prudency hearings to be undertaken by the MPSC;

--Revision of Southern's Outlook to Stable from Negative.

Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a downgrade include:

--Downgrade in Southern's IDR;

--Lack of tangible financial support from Southern to fund additional cost overrun at Kemper and/or in event of adverse outcome in the pending rate filings.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR SOUTHERN POWER

Positive Action: Positive rating actions for Southern Power are not anticipated at this time.

Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a downgrade include:

--Significant deterioration in power demand, which could negatively affect recontracting of power generation output once existing contracts mature;

--Aggressive investment or financial strategy such as buying or building merchant generation assets or taking on major construction or completion risks on unconventional technologies.

RATING SENSITIVITIES FOR SOUTHERN ELECTRIC GENERATING COMPANY

Positive: Given that an upgrade is not likely in the next 12-18 months for Alabama Power, there are no expectations for positive rating actions for SEGCO at this time.

Negative: Future deterioration in the credit quality of Alabama Power or Georgia Power could have negative rating implications for SEGCO.

LIQUIDITY

At March 31, 2015, Southern and its subsidiaries had approximately $1.1 billion of cash and cash equivalents and approximately $5.1 billion of unused committed credit arrangements with banks. A portion of unused credit with banks is allocated to provide liquidity support to the utility subsidiaries' variable rate pollution control bonds and commercial paper programs. The amount of variable rate pollution control revenue bonds outstanding requiring liquidity support as of March 31, 2015 was approximately $1.8 billion. Approximately $1.4 billion of commercial paper borrowings were outstanding as of March 31, 2015.

Southern Company Funding Corp (SCFC) issues commercial paper on behalf of the utility subsidiaries i.e. Alabama Power, Gulf Power, Georgia Power and Mississippi Power. The obligation of each utility subsidiary is several and not joint. The financial services agreement entered between Mississippi Power and SCFC removes Mississippi Power as an 'eligible Southern Company Affiliate' if any two of the three rating agencies lower its short-term rating below that of SCFC.

FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Fitch affirms the following ratings with a Negative Outlook:

Southern Company

--Long-term IDR at 'A';

--Short-term IDR at 'F1';

--Commercial paper at 'F1';

--Senior unsecured notes at 'A'.

Fitch affirms the following ratings with a Stable Outlook:

Southern Company Funding Corp.

--Commercial paper at 'F1'.

Alabama Power Company

--Long-term IDR at 'A';

--Short-term IDR and commercial paper at 'F1';

--Senior unsecured notes at 'A+';

--Pollution control revenue bonds at 'A+' and 'F1';

--Preferred securities at 'A-'.

Alabama Power Company Capital Trust V

--Trust preferred stock at 'A-'.

Georgia Power Company

--Long-term IDR at 'A';

--Short-term IDR and commercial paper at 'F1';

--Senior unsecured notes at 'A+/F1';

--Pollution control revenue bonds at 'A+' and 'F1';

--Preferred securities at 'A-'.

Gulf Power Company

--Long-term IDR at 'A-';

--Short-term IDR and commercial paper at 'F1';

--Senior unsecured notes at 'A';

--Pollution control revenue bonds at 'A' and 'F1';

--Preferred securities at 'BBB+'.

Southern Power Company

--Long-term IDR at 'BBB+';

--Short-term IDR at 'F2';

--Senior unsecured debt at 'BBB+'.

Fitch downgrades the following ratings with a Negative Outlook:

Mississippi Power Company

--Long-term IDR to 'BBB+' from 'A-';

--Short-term IDR and commercial paper to 'F2' from 'F1';

--Senior unsecured notes to 'A-' from 'A';

--Pollution control revenue bonds to 'A-' and 'F2' from 'A' and 'F1';

--Preferred securities to 'BBB' from 'BBB+'.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com

Applicable Criteria

Corporate Rating Methodology - Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (pub. 28 May 2014)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=749393

Recovery Ratings and Notching Criteria for Utilities (pub. 05 Mar 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=863298

Treatment and Notching of Hybrids in Non-Financial Corporate and REIT Credit Analysis (pub. 25 Nov 2014)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=821568

Additional Disclosures

Solicitation Status

https://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=985974

Endorsement Policy

https://www.fitchratings.com/jsp/creditdesk/PolicyRegulation.faces?context=2&detail=31

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Shalini Mahajan, CFA
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0351
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St.
New York, NY, 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Julie Jiang
Director
+1-212-908-0708
or
Committee Chairperson
Robert Hornick
Senior Director
+1-212-908-0523
or
Media Relations:
Alyssa Castelli, New York, +1 212-908-0540
Email: alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1 212-908-0526
Email: elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Shalini Mahajan, CFA
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0351
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall St.
New York, NY, 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Julie Jiang
Director
+1-212-908-0708
or
Committee Chairperson
Robert Hornick
Senior Director
+1-212-908-0523
or
Media Relations:
Alyssa Castelli, New York, +1 212-908-0540
Email: alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1 212-908-0526
Email: elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com