CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned the following rating to Westcott Park CLO Ltd./LLC:
--$413,440,000 class A notes, 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.
Fitch does not rate the class B, C, D or E notes or the subordinated notes.
Westcott Park CLO, Ltd. (issuer) and Westcott Park CLO, LLC (co-issuer) together comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by GSO/Blackstone Debt Funds Management LLC (GSO/Blackstone). Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a $640 million portfolio of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO is expected to have an approximately 4.8-year reinvestment period and 2.8-year noncall period.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Sufficient Credit Enhancement (CE): CE of 35.4% for the class A notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in the 'AAAsf' stress scenario. The degree of CE available to the class A notes is below the average 'AAAsf' CE of recent CLO issuances; however, cash flow modeling results indicate performance in line with other Fitch-rated 'AAAsf' CLO notes.
'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 61.3%.
Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 96.8% first lien senior secured loans and 3.2% second lien loans. Approximately 88.1% of the indicative portfolio has strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of 'RR2' or higher and the base case recovery assumption is 78.3%. In determining ratings for class A notes, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stresses, resulting in a 38.7% recovery rate assumption in Fitch's 'AAAsf' scenario.
Fitch evaluated the structure's sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions, including decreases in 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.
Fitch published an exposure draft of its Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds on April 14, 2016. The exposure draft serves as the operative criteria report for this ratings analysis. Under the exposure draft, a direct-support counterparty is expected to maintain a long-term rating of at least 'A' or a short-term rating of at least 'F1' in order to support note ratings of up to 'AAAsf'. The issuer's account holder, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, satisfies the minimum expected ratings threshold for a direct-support counterparty under the exposure draft framework.
Fitch's existing counterparty criteria (dated May 14, 2014), as well as the issuer's governing documents, expect this role to be fulfilled by an institution with a long-term rating of at least 'A' and a short-term rating of at least 'F1'. Wells Fargo Bank's long-term and short-term ratings currently meet this expectation. Therefore, the rating for class A notes remains achievable under Fitch's existing criteria.
The framework regarding expectations for qualified investments has not materially changed between the existing criteria and the exposure draft.
DUE DILIGENCE USAGE
No third-party due diligence was provided or reviewed in relation to this rating action.
The publication of a representations, warranties and enforcement mechanisms appendix is not required for this transaction.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.
Sources of Information:
The information used to assess these ratings was provided by the arranger (Wells Fargo Securities, LLC) and the public domain.
Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds (pub. 14 May 2014)
Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds (pub. 17 May 2016)
Exposure Draft: Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds (pub. 14 Apr 2016)
Global Rating Criteria for CLOs and Corporate CDOs (pub. 09 Jun 2016)
Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria (pub. 27 Jun 2016)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form