NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has downgraded the short-term rating assigned to the University of Massachusetts Building Authority project revenue bonds, senior series 2008-1 to 'F1' from 'F1+'. This action is in connection with: (i) the substitution of the liquidity support provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (rated 'AA-/F1+', Stable Outlook) in the form of a Standby Bond Purchase Agreement (SBPA), with a substitute SBPA to be issued by Barclays Bank PLC (rated 'A/F1', Stable Outlook; and (ii) the mandatory tender of the bonds, which occurred on April 15, 2016.
KEY RATING DRIVERS:
The short-term 'F1' rating is based on the liquidity support provided by Barclays Bank PLC, in the form of a substitute SBPA, which has a stated expiration date of April 22, 2019, unless extended or earlier terminated, during the weekly interest rate mode only. The long-term 'AA' rating continues to be based on the rating assigned to the bonds. The Rating Outlook is Stable for the long-term rating. For more information on the long-term rating, see the press release "Fitch Rate Univ of Massachusetts Sr. Series Revs 2015-1 & 2015-2 Rfdg Revs 'AA; Outlook Stable", dated Feb. 11, 2015, available on Fitch's website at www.fitchratings.com.
The substitute SBPA provides for the payment of the principal component of purchase price plus an amount equal to 187 days of interest calculated at a maximum rate of 12%, based on a year of 365 days for tendered bonds during the weekly rate mode in the event that the proceeds of a remarketing of the bonds are insufficient to pay the purchase price following an optional or mandatory tender. The substitute SBPA will expire on April 22, 2019, the stated expiration date, unless such date is extended; upon conversion to a daily, auction, term or fixed rate mode; or upon the occurrence of certain events of default which result in a mandatory tender or other events of default related to the credit of the bonds which result in an automatic and immediate termination. A mandatory tender of the bonds occurred prior to the SBPA substitution date on April 15, 2016. The remarketing agent for the bonds is Barclay Capital Inc.
The short-term rating reflects the short-term rating that Fitch maintains on the bank providing liquidity support, and will be adjusted upward or downward in conjunction with the short-term rating of the bank and, in some cases, the long-term rating of the bonds. The long-term rating is exclusively tied to the creditworthiness of the bonds and will reflect all changes to that rating.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com
Rating Criteria for Variable-Rate Demand Obligations and Commercial Paper Issued with External Liquidity Support (pub. 28 Jan 2016)
U.S. Municipal Structured Finance Criteria (pub. 23 Feb 2015)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form