Fitch Upgrades and Withdraws Long-Term IDR of Black Hills Gas LLC

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Black Hills Gas LLC (BHG) to 'BBB+' from 'BBB' and assigned a Stable Rating Outlook. Subsequent to this rating action, Fitch has withdrawn BHG's Long-Term IDR.

The upgrade reflects the early retirement of all debt at BHG and its intermediate holding company, Black Hills Gas Holdings, LLC (BHG Holdings) and consolidation of all debt at BHG's ultimate parent company, Black Hills Corporation (BKH). The retirement of the remaining debt at BHG Holdings removed the constraint on credit quality that BHG faced as a subsidiary of a leveraged intermediate holding company.

The ratings withdrawal reflects the retirement of all debt at BHG and BKH's intention to no longer issue debt at that entity. BHG's operations have been consolidated with BKH's other gas utility operations under BKH's utility holdings subsidiary, Black Hills Utility Holdings, Inc., and all future debt to support those operations will be issued at BKH.

RATING SENSITIVITIES
Not applicable

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com

Applicable Criteria
Corporate Rating Methodology - Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (pub. 17 Aug 2015)
https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/869362
Parent and Subsidiary Rating Linkage (pub. 31 Aug 2016)
https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/886557
Recovery Ratings and Notching Criteria for Utilities (pub. 04 Mar 2016)
https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/878227

Additional Disclosures
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https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/press_releases/content/ridf_frame.cfm?pr_id=1011545
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https://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=1011545
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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Kevin L. Beicke, CFA
Director
+1-212-908-0618
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Philippe Beard
Director
+1-212-908-0242
or
Committee Chairperson
Shalini Mahajan, CFA
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0351
or
Media Relations
Alyssa Castelli, +1 212-908-0540
alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Kevin L. Beicke, CFA
Director
+1-212-908-0618
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Philippe Beard
Director
+1-212-908-0242
or
Committee Chairperson
Shalini Mahajan, CFA
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0351
or
Media Relations
Alyssa Castelli, +1 212-908-0540
alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com