CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings maintains its Rating Watch Negative on the following revenue bonds issued by the New Mexico Hospital Equipment Loan Council on behalf of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services, Inc. (Rehoboth), which are currently rated 'B'.
--$5.6 million hospital facility improvement and refunding revenue bonds, series 2007A.
The bonds are secured by a pledge of revenues and equipment and a debt service reserve fund.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
POSSIBILITY OF ACCELERATION OF DEBT: The Negative Watch reflects the possibility of a demand for repayment by bondholders as remedy in response to Rehoboth's violation of its rate covenant in fiscal 2014, which triggered an Event of Default under the Master Trust Indenture. Management, through the Trustee, is working to secure a Forbearance Agreement with bondholders and bring the corporation back into compliance with its financial covenants. At this time, Rehoboth is current with all loan and lease payments and has not drawn on the debt service reserve fund.
IMPROVED INTERIM RESULTS: Through the six month interim period ended June 30, 2015, Rehoboth has generated a sharp improvement in profitability. Excluding approximately $1.1 million of tax revenues that are not available for debt service, Rehoboth generated a 2.0% operating margin and a 6.8% operating EBITDA margin compared to a negative 5.8% operating margin and a negative 0.5% operating EBITDA margin in the prior year period. Debt service coverage by EBITDA through the interim period is a solid 4.3x.
POSSIBLE SALE : The Board of Trustees had entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) to sell the assets of Rehoboth to Healthcare Integrity LLC of Bonham, TX on June 10, 2014, which provided for a 120-day due diligence period. Healthcare Integrity has exercised its option and is pursuing the purchase of Rehoboth; however, there is not an executed agreement at this time. Fitch has not been provided the terms of the purchase option.
EXECUTION OF A FOREBEARANCE AGREEMENT: The maintenance of the Negative Watch reflects the uncertainty surrounding successful negotiation by Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health System of a forbearance agreement with its bondholders. While the improved interim results would indicate a favorable outcome with no acceleration of the outstanding debt, future rating action, including the removal from Rating Watch, is contingent on negotiations between Rehoboth and bondholders.
EXECUTED SALE AGREEMENT: Depending on the final terms and conditions, a sale agreement could result in the refunding of Rehoboth's outstanding series 2007A bonds.
Rehoboth McKinley Health Care Services, Inc. is a 69-bed general acute care hospital located in Gallup, NM (138 miles west of Albuquerque, NM and 180 miles east of Flagstaff, AZ). Total operating revenue in fiscal 2014 was $48.2 million.
Rehoboth covenants to provide annual financial statements within 30 days after the approval of the report by the state auditor, which has usually resulted in fairly late receipt of audits. Rehoboth has also been posting monthly financial statements on EMMA.
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com.
Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria (pub. 16 Jun 2014)
U.S. Nonprofit Hospitals and Health Systems Rating Criteria (pub. 09 Jun 2015)